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Maria Hebert-Leiter, Ph.D., will be a visiting scholar at the 2016 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute, titled “Ernest J. Gaines and the Southern Experience.” The institute is sponsored by the Ernest J. Gaines Center on the campus of University of Louisiana at Lafayette from May 30-June 24.
Gaines is an award-winning writer of several celebrated books including “A Lesson Before Dying,” “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” and “A Gathering of Old Men.” His narratives focus on community, responsibility and identity as integral concepts relating to the African American experience in the South, and the significance of the land during the mid-twentieth century. Four of his works have been made into television movies.
Hebert-Leiter will be joined by other scholars and 25 participants at the institute to share lectures, group discussions and film screenings. The institute fosters research and scholarship on Gaines’ life and works, and helps archive and preserve his collected works.
“Participation from highly sought after scholars such as Dr. Hebert-Leiter brings additional credibility to our efforts,” said Cheylon Woods, archivist and head of the Ernest J. Gaines Center. “Dr. Hebert-Leiter’s extensive works on Cajun representations in fiction brings an insightful perspective to our diverse team of visiting scholars.”
Dr. Hebert-Leiter is a special part-time assistant professor of English, teaching sections of composition and a survey of early American literature. In 2009, she published her first book, “Becoming Cajun, Becoming American: The Acadian in American Literature from Longfellow to James Lee Burke.” She received her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina and her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in New Orleans.
More information about the institute can be found at: https://ernestgaines.ucs.louisiana.edu/summerscholar/.