A West Virginia University English professor has garnered national recognition for her book exploring the works of American Indian women writers of the 19th century.
Seeing Red: Anger, Sentimentality, and American Indiansby Cari Carpenter claimed honorable mention in the 2008 Gloria E. Anzaldua Book Prize competition sponsored by the National Womens Studies Association . The award is given each year in recognition of groundbreaking scholarly works in womens studies, with a focus on women of color. Anzalda is a writer, teacher and activist noted for her work as a Chicana feminist.
Anzaldas prose and poetry embodies the complexity and power of multiethnic womens lives and literature,said Carpenter, an assistant professor who includes Anzaldas work in nearly every class she teaches.This award and the book itself are reflections of the collaborative work and innovative spirit of the Department of English and the Native American Studies Program at WVU .
Much like the Anzalda award,Seeing Redhonors the writing of women of color. In the book, Carpenter examines anger in the poetry and prose of 19th-century American Indian women writers. These writers, she contends, used a variety of rhetorical techniquesone of the most pervasive and intriguing being sentimentality.
For example, Northern Paiute writer Sarah Winnemucca used sentimental language to generate support from white women readers.
Often represented by Anglo-Americans as either savages or stoics, indigenous writers had the difficult task of mounting a respectableprotest that was not reduced to those stereotypes,Carpenter writes in the book.
Carpenters work has also earned the respect of her peers in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences .
She is the recipient of the 2009 James and Arthur Gabriel/Gabriel Brothers Faculty Award. The award was established by the Gabriels, founding partners of Gabriel Brothers Inc., a Morgantown-based discount clothing business. The Gabriels, both of whom have WVU degrees, created the award to encourage, support and reward faculty endeavors, especially teaching, that focus on America and American society and culture.
I feel honored to receive this award,Carpenter said.Ive found WVU a very productive venue for my research and teaching in American studies, Native American literature and womens studies, and Im blessed to have colleagues who support and challenge my work in productive ways.
As I move into new areas of inquiry, Im grateful to be able to use this funding for future projects, like a collection of newspaper articles by and about Winnemucca,she added.Such awards are a testament to WVU s commitment to faculty research in its myriad forms.
Carpenter has published several articles on American Indian literature and feminist teaching strategies.
She is currently working on a collection of writings by Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president.
In addition to teaching English at WVU , she is a member of the Native American Studies Committee and an affiliate of the Womens Studies Program .
Before joining WVU , Carpenter held a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Kalamazoo College.
She earned her bachelors degree in English and psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1995. She went on to earn a masters degree in English and a dual doctoral degree in English and womens studies from the University of Michigan in 1998 and 2002, respectively.