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A Passion for Getting It Right

Essays and Appreciations in Honor of Michael J. Colacurcio’s 50 Years of Teaching

Edited By Carol M. Bensick

For 50 years Michael J. Colacurcio has been a leader in the criticism of early and antebellum American literature. In The Province of Piety, New Essays on The Scarlet Letter, Doctrine and Difference, and Godly Letters, as well as editions and often-reprinted reviews and essays, Dr. Colacurcio has continued to defend a rare vision of the political and intellectual depth of America’s serious fiction and the aesthetic power and charm of its religious poetry and prose. In light of many honors such as the Book of the Year Award from the Conference of Christianity and Literature and election in 2007 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, UCLA raised him to the rank of Distinguished Professor. Yet for all his dedication to research, his students know him as an unforgettable teacher, who has continued to win several teaching awards at both Cornell and UCLA. The present volume aspires to celebrate Dr. Colacurcio’s 50 years of transformative teaching through an exciting bounty of original and classic essays by some of his most talented students and eminent colleagues from his very first years at Cornell up to and including his current students at UCLA.
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About the author(s)/editor(s)


Carol M. Bensick received her Ph.D. in American literature to 1914 at Cornell University. She is the author of La Nouvelle Beatrice: Renaissance and Romance in “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Her essays appear in New Essays on The Scarlet Letter, New Essays on Hawthorne’s Major Tales, and Hawthorne and Women. She has also published numerous articles in journals and reference publications. She has taught at the University of Denver, Cornell University, the University of Oregon, and the University of California—Riverside. For five years, Bensick was a research associate of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Her present focus is the status of women in nineteenth-century American philosophy, on which she has given papers at the Summer Institute for American Philosophy and the American Philosophical Association. Her current book-length project is on Julia Ward Howe.

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