Black Studies professor receives College Language Association’s Book Award
Margaret Wade-Lewis, associate professor and chair of the Black Studies Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the 2008 recipient of the College Language Association’s Book Award for the biography “Lorenzo Dow Turner: Father of Gullah Studies.”
James Schiffer, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at New Paltz, said he was delighted to learn of Wade-Lewis's award. “This is a significant recognition of Margaret's work by her scholarly peers," he said.
The award is presented annually to a CLA member whose work makes “a significant contribution to the field and demonstrates outstanding research in languages and literatures.”
Wade-Lewis’s biography of Turner (1890-1972), an African-American linguist and a scholar of the Gullah regions of Georgia and South Carolina, was published by the University of South Carolina Press.
“Turner’s research was a major intellectual breakthrough in that, first, it proved that vestiges of African languages had survived in North America and, second, served as one of the initiating research documents of the field of Creole linguistics,” said Wade-Lewis. “Since American linguistic history is just being written, and since Turner is one of the first African-American linguists, I felt responsible for documenting his contributions."
Wade-Lewis has taught in the Black Studies Department and the Linguistics Program at SUNY New Paltz since 1974. In 1985, she was named director of the Linguistics Program, as well as the Scholar’s Mentorship Program, both of which she continues to lead. Wade-Lewis became chair of the Black Studies Department in 1993.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
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