A doctoral student in West Virginia University’s Department of English recently captured a national award for a 15-week undergraduate course she designed,”Fictions of the Gift: Generosity and Obligation in Eighteenth-Century English Literature.”

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) awarded Cynthia Klekar one of the top prizes in their Innovative Course Design Competition. The award is intended to encourage excellence in undergraduate teaching of the eighteenth century.

Proposals were evaluated on design, readings, pedagogy and innovative approaches to the period. A 12 -page account of the course will be published on the ASECS website.

Klekar will make a presentation and receive a teaching grant at the ASECS annual meeting in Boston in March. She has also been invited to serve on next year’s evaluation committee.

The ASECS accepted proposals that included a rationale of the course, a complete 15-week syllabus, justification of the required readings and samples of the assignments students complete in the course. Only the top three proposals were selected.

“The committee was impressed by this new critical approach to the theme of generosity in the period. This is an innovative and sophisticated class that identifies a fundamental and understudied element in eighteenth-century literature. This course is extremely well-researched and we believe it can inspire many a teacher-scholar,”remarked the judging committee about Klekar’s proposal.

Klekar is a doctoral student in English specializing in Eighteenth-Century Studies. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, she received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is also the recipient of the Jackson Family Dissertation Fellowship for British Studies and is currently completing a dissertation titled”Fictions of the Gift: Generosity, Obligation and Economy in Eighteenth-Century England.