(Augusta, GA) – Paine College recently received a UNCF/Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute grant sponsored by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the Mellon Foundation. Dr. Belinda Wheeler, assistant professor of English in the Department of Humanities, serves as the facilitator and coordinator of the project, titled “Expanding the Harlem Renaissance’s Relevance across the Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) Curriculum.” Other Paine College professors who will serve as co-facilitators for the upcoming interdisciplinary institute are Dr. Gary Flanigan (Media Studies), Dr. Emily Prince (Science, Technology, and Mathematics), and Dr. Tatiana Rivadeneyra (Education).
The amount of the award is $30,000 and the funds will be used to hold a three-day institute on the Paine College campus. The institute, which will take place fall 2013, will involve an interdisciplinary group of scholars from other UNCF institutions around the country in order to shape and expand students’ understanding of the Harlem Renaissance as a significant period in America’s cultural and intellectual history. At the completion of the three-day institute Dr. Wheeler and her team will be responsible for compiling a comprehensive report that provides details of the institute, including evaluation results. This report will then be distributed to all UNCF institutions across the nation to help them with their curriculum goals.
In her letter to Dr. Wheeler, Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence, Director of the UNCF/Mellon programs, wrote, “The proposed institute will strengthen teaching and learning activities for Paine College and other participating UNCF institutions. The opportunity to share your institutional legacy and commitment to the writers, thinkers and creators associated with the Harlem Renaissance will be valuable to all who participate.”
Wheeler’s work with the Harlem Renaissance expands well beyond this upcoming institute. She has two forthcoming articles on African American poet, artist, editor, columnist, and educator, Gwendolyn Bennett, one in PMLA and another in Wiley-Blackwell’s Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. Wheeler is currently writing a book on Bennett titled, Gwendolyn Bennett: The Harlem Renaissance's Quintessential Poet, Artist, Editor, and Columnist (under contract with University Press of Mississippi). Recently, Wheeler uncovered the only known painting by Bennett.
About Dr. Wheeler:
Originally from Queensland, Australia, Belinda Wheeler earned her B.A. in English from Purdue University in 2005, her M.A. in English from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2008, and her Ph.D. in English from Southern Illinois University in 2011. Wheeler's research interests include American literature (particularly modernism), multicultural literature (including Australian Aboriginal literature, African American literature, and Native American literature), and print culture and book history. Wheeler teaches a range of classes at Paine including Literary Theory, African American Literature, American Literature, Shakespeare, Introduction to Literature, and freshman Composition. Wheeler’s first book, A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature (editor and contributor, Camden House/ Boydell & Brewer) will be released August 2013.
For more information on Paine College, please visit http://www.paine.edu, or contact Leah Suggs in the Office of Communications & Marketing at
(706) 821.8322, (803) 524.3195.
Photo caption: Dr. Belinda Wheeler, assistant professor of English in the Department of Humanities, who serves as the facilitator and coordinator of the project, titled “Expanding the Harlem Renaissance’s Relevance across the Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) Curriculum,” which was awarded the UNCF/Mellon Teaching and Learning Grant.