University of Pittsburgh
December 5, 2005

Pitt Professor David Bartholomae to Be Awarded Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize From the Modern Language Association

Honor to be bestowed Dec. 28 for his book Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh Professor of English David Bartholomae will receive the 25th annual Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association (MLA) of America for his book Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching (Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover, 2005; Bedford/St. Martins, softcover, 2005). The award recognizes outstanding work in the fields of language, culture, literacy, or literature with strong application to the teaching of English.

Bartholomae will be recognized at the MLA's annual convention Dec. 28 in Washington, D.C. One of 18 awards to be presented at the event, the Shaughnessy Prize includes a $1,000 honorarium, a certificate, and a year's membership in the association.

"Pitt's Department of English is widely recognized as one of the country's finest, and David has been instrumental in helping to create and maintain its reputation for excellence," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "David established Pitt's writing center and reinvented our freshman writing curriculum, which has become a model for programs across the country, including those at the nation's premier universities. We are extremely fortunate that David has made Pitt his professional home, and we congratulate him for receiving yet another prestigious award."

"I am delighted that David's latest book has received this premier recognition," said

N. John Cooper, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. "The acknowledgment is especially appropriate since this book is an element of David's body of work that has shaped the teaching of composition and writing across the United States. His contributions go well beyond his publications and include valuable leadership roles at the University of Pittsburgh and across his discipline."

The selection committee noted in its selection of Writing on the Margins that ". . . There is much to like in this inspiring and invaluable collection of essays on topics as critical and diverse as error, style, reading, theory, and administration. . . . The collection serves as a recent history of the field and an introduction to all disciplines that require students to write as well as read. . . . "

In an article published in the Pitt Chronicle, Bartholomae pays tribute to Shaughnessy's influence on his work: "Everything that I did drew upon a program at City College in New York being developed by Mina Shaughnessy," (Sept. 26, 2005). Writing on the Margins includes an essay about Shaughnessy's book Errors and Expectations: A Guide for Teachers of Basic Writing (Oxford University Press, 1977).

At Pitt since 1975 and now chair of Pitt's English department, Bartholomae played a leading role in creating the University's composition program. He is widely recognized today as an authority on the teaching of writing.

Bartholomae has coauthored several books, including Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers (Bedford/St. Martins, 7th edition, 2005); Ways of Reading: Words and Images (Bedford/St. Martins, 2003); Reading the Lives of Others: History and Ethnography (Bedford/St. Martins, 1994); and Facts, Artifacts, Counterfacts: Reading and Writing in Theory and Practice (Heinemann, Boynton/Cook, 1986). He is the coeditor of the prize-winning University of Pittsburgh Press Series Composition, Literacy, and Culture. His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as PMLA, Critical Quarterly, and College Composition and Communication.

Bartholomae has served on the Executive Council of the MLA and as president of the Conference on College Composition and Communication; he is currently the president-elect of the Association of Departments of English.

Among Bartholomae's honors are the Richard B. Braddock Award, a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America, and a Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Bartholomae received the Ph.D. degree in English from Rutgers in 1975.

The MLA, the largest and one of the oldest American learned societies in the humanities (est. 1883), promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies. The Shaughnessy Prize was established by action of the MLA Executive Council in 1979 as a memorial to one of the most widely respected scholars and teachers in the field of writing.

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