Rebecca R. Butler

Rebecca R. Butler

 

Dr. Rebecca R. Butler, educated as a generalist in language and literature at Louisiana State University, has taught both writing and imaginative literature for thirty years in the United States and Europe–Lublin, Roehampton, England, and Munich, Germany. She has published some fifty articles, primarily in the area of twentieth-century American fiction, as well as a writing text, THE FIFTY-MINUTE ESSAY.  She was twice chosen as a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities Seminars and Institutes in Southern Literature at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She received the University System of Georgia’s Chancellor’s Award for Faculty study in the Czech Republic, and she helped establish a studies abroad program at Dalton State College. Dr. Butler retired from Dalton State in 2002 and continues writing, specifically, detective stories set in Poland shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and featuring Fulbright Scholar Susanna Shepherd.

My time in Lublin was among the most memorable of my life. I had set my sights on a Fulbright appointment as a graduate student in the sixties, so the appointment in Lublin was the fulfillment of a longed-for scholarly adventure. I still see in my mind’s eye Joanna and Jurek Durczak meeting me at the train station, the golden autumn leaves filling the street gutters, the sudden sleet fall glistening on the sidewalks, the flowering chestnut tree. Sitting down to write every morning was exciting, whether preparing class or developing a conference presentation. I taught advanced English conversation, a survey of American Literature, and a couple of fresh offerings, a lecture course on the beginnings of Southern Literature as a specialization and a seminar on the twentieth-century Southern Novel. While many of my students were reticent, most were eager, well-read, and some, like Pawel Frelik, were well ahead of me in critical theory. With encouragement from the Durczaks and Prof. Agnieszka Salska of Lodz (and without the distractions of a television or telephone) I found time to write and present papers in Skierniewice, Poznan, Kazimierz, and in Chantilly, France. Yes, it was a most productive adventure among colleagues I remember warmly and hope to see again.

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