Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013, recognized as a “master of the contemporary short story.” In celebration of this extraordinary honour, Western University today announced the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity.
Western has committed $1.5 million to match donations to this newly established chair, which will enable the Faculty of Arts & Humanities to recruit a creative writer, teacher and scholar who will advance the university’s tradition of excellence in developing the talents of students and future writers.
“Western is proud to have played a part in Alice Munro’s storied career, and we are thrilled to honour her achievements by creating the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity,” says Amit Chakma, Western President and Vice-Chancellor.
The holder of the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity will lead the creative culture of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Western, serving as a mentor and a model to faculty, staff and students. Assuming a leadership role between Western and the creative community in London, Ontario, the holder will also provide access to a world of writing beyond Canada, allowing the university to attract international authors as speakers and future writers-in-residence.
“One of the things we can learn from Alice Munro’s extraordinary late-career honour is that we still live in a world in which our passions and creativity are valued,” says Bryce Traister, Chair, Western’s Department of English and Writing Studies. “What an inspiring message we have now for our students, for our community, and for all of our creative ambitions.”
Munro’s first connection to Western came while she was an undergraduate pursuing a degree in the Department of English. As a student, she published three short stories in Western’s undergraduate English magazine, Folio, in 1950 and 1951. She returned in 1974-75 as Western’s Writer-in-Residence. During this time, she crafted her collection, Who Do You Think You Are?, which won the Governor General’s Award. In 1976, Western recognized Munro’s literary achievements with an honorary degree, the only such honour she has ever accepted.
PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY FOR MEDIA
Media are invited to visit Western’s Archives and Research Collections Centre at Weldon Library on Wednesday, December 11 from 10:30 a.m. to noon as Traister and David Bentley, Western’s Carl F. Klinck Professor in Canadian Literature, will lead a presentation exploring original copies of the three volumes of Folio featuring Munro’s work.
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