Patricia A. Matthew, associate professor of English, has been named one of nine scholars to participate in the University at Buffalo Center for Diversity Innovation’s new Distinguished Visiting Scholar program.
Matthew specializes in 19th-century British literature and culture and teaches courses in British Romanticism, the history of the novel, and British abolitionist literature at Montclair State. In announcing the Distinguished Visiting Scholars, the University at Buffalo stated that “her work in progress on sugar, protest and British abolitionist culture is poised to alter the field of British literary studies,” and her edited volume on diversity and tenure Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure, “illuminates how universities can achieve a more diverse and equitable professoriate.”
“This really is an honor,” says Matthew. “I know you’re supposed to say that, but the more I learn about the rest of the cohort, the more honored I am to be among them. I am looking forward to thinking about what I’ve learned about diversity and inclusion since the publication of Written/Unwritten alongside such a distinguished and diverse group.”
Matthew earned a BA at Centenary College of Louisiana, an MA at Northwestern State University and a PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the co-editor of a special issue for European Romantic Review and has published essays and reviews in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, the Keats-Shelley Journal, and Lapham’s Quarterly. In addition to Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure, she has published essays and book reviews on diversity in higher education in PMLA, The ADE Bulletin, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and The Atlantic. Her work on diversity has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. In addition to essays on race and popular culture, she is currently writing a monograph about sugar, gender and British abolitionist culture.
“It means a great deal that I was supported not only by senior scholars in British literary studies but also by my Montclair colleagues and former students as well,” says Matthew. “I am thrilled to have the time and space to focus on writing my book. Last year I won a Separately Budgeted Research grant to work in museums, galleries and university archives in seven cities in the U.K. It was a wonderful trip, and it has been exciting to share my discoveries in lectures, conference seminars and keynotes, but I am so looking forward to sitting still for a little while and just writing. I’m very happy.”
According to the Center for Diversity and Innovation, the fundamental objective of the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program is “to host an annual cohort of exceptionally accomplished individuals who, through their record of scholarship and/or creative endeavors, teaching, mentoring and service – as well as their skills, experiences, underrepresentation and areas of scholarly and creative expertise – can substantially advance diversity, equity and inclusion at UB.”
The Center explains that “the scholars were chosen from a highly competitive pool generated through the Center for Diversity Innovation’s extensive national outreach and recruitment efforts.
Applications were received from outstanding candidates from more than 20 academic disciplines and fields, and four different units at UB.”
“We are excited to welcome these distinguished scholars to UB, who I know will have broad impact on our campus and community, contributing individually and collectively to a dynamic interdisciplinary environment at UB – expanding opportunities for our students and faculty to innovate in their scholarly and creative endeavors, and ultimately, enhancing the success of our students and faculty,” said University at Buffalo Provost A. Scott Weber.
“It’s one of the premier universities in the country for literary studies,” said Montclair State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Willard Gingerich regarding the University at Buffalo. “Dr. Matthew will not only inspire her peers in this program but will be immensely energized herself by this community and will return with even more to offer her colleagues and students in the Montclair State community while furthering her own very significant scholarship.”