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English professor Amritjit Singh receives lifetime achievement award

ATHENS, Ohio (March 13, 2007) -- Ohio University Langston Hughes Professor of English and African American Studies Amritjit Singh will receive the 2007 MELUS Lifetime Achievement Award at the 21st Annual MELUS Conference this spring. 

Photo by Rick FaticaMELUS, the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature, honors scholars with the award for their achievements in ethnic American literary scholarship. 

"I feel gratified that my work over the past 35 years in African American and ethnic American literature is being acknowledged by an organization that still means so much to me," Singh said. "I have been fortunate to have had the affection and support of literally dozens of colleagues, who have over the years collaborated with me on challenging scholarly projects."

MELUS is a national organization of college and university professors committed to expanding the definition and canon of American literature through "the study and teaching of African American, Latino/a American, Native American, Asian American and ethnically-specific European American literary works, their authors and their cultural contexts."

In his first year as a full-time faculty member at Ohio University, Singh has made a difference. 

"He has been a great presence, throwing himself into the life and activities of our department," said Joe McLaughlin, chair of the English department. "We have a very strong commitment to diversity in our department, as can be seen from hires we have made in recent years and the evolving syllabi and interests of our long-term faculty. Professor Singh brings us a significant, nationally known scholar in African American literature and the ethnic literatures of the U.S."

Singh's scholarship includes several books on the Harlem Renaissance, two co-edited works on the uses of memory in ethnic American literature, and a co-edited volume that explores the relationship between postcolonial studies and ethnic American studies. In 2004, he co-edited a MELUS publication that honored the legacy of MELUS founder, the late Katharine D. Newman.

When asked how he feels about the award, Singh said he feels both honored and humbled to be in such distinguished company. He is the first Ohio University faculty member to win this award.

Singh joined MELUS in 1973, the year of its inception, took a nine-year hiatus when he returned to India and joined again in 1983. He served as president of the organization from 1994 to 1997, as deputy editor of its journal from 1987 to 1999 and as program chair from 1988 to 1990. During his leadership, MELUS chapters were launched in Europe and India, and those organizations have had several successful international conferences. This year's MELUS conference will be held March 22 to 25 in Fresno, Calif.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

Editors: A photo of Singh can be found at www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/SINGH_AMRITJIT.JPG

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