Orrin Wang Wins 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award

May 20, 2020

Professor Orrin Wang is the 2020 recipient of the Keats Shelley Association of America's Distinguished Scholar Award. 

The University of Maryland’s Department of English’s Professor Orrin Wang is the 2020 recipient of the Keats Shelley Association of America's Distinguished Scholar Award. 

The Keats-Shelley Association of America (K-SAA) Distinguished Scholar award was established in 1981 and is given annually in recognition of career-long excellence in scholarship devoted to the writers of the British Romantic period and the culture in which they lived.

“Honored, gratified, and a bit disbelieving, all for the same reasons,” says Orrin Wang. “Past awards have gone to scholars whose accomplishments I've long admired and whose thinking was foundational for my own encounter with my field, and so it's an honor to be associated with them.  I'm also grateful to the past recipients, other colleagues, and my students, from whom I all learned so much. Finally, in my and other fields in the Humanities, it's rare for mid-career and more senior scholars to receive institutional acknowledgement of one kind or another for what we do, and so it's a pleasure to know some have derived value from my work.  That's important to know as an author too.”

John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley are two of the main literary figures of British Romanticism, the field period Professor Wang studies. K-SAA is one of the main organizations outside of universities tasked with upholding and conveying the value of their work and that of other Romantics writers, to ensure that everyone in the present, no matter their background, has access to the cultural entailment the writers provided.  
 
“During my PhD I fell under the spell of W.J.T. Mitchell, a renowned scholar of another famous Romantic poet, William Blake, who introduced me to Romanticism--the literature, the philosophy, and the social turmoil that was the backdrop for that period and which still affects us to this day.  And that was that--it's been over thirty years and I'm still figuring out what it means to be a Romanticist, as well as a Romantic.”

Fore more information about the Distinguished Scholar Award