East Carolina University's Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce the first recipient of the Linda McMahon Distinguished Professorship in Foreign Languages in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The professorship, endowed in 2009 by the McMahon Family Foundation, has been awarded to Dr. Dale Knickerbocker, Professor of Hispanic Studies. Prof. Knickerbocker will hold the title for two years, until August 2014.
"All of us in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures are enormously grateful to the McMahon Family for their generosity—and extremely proud of the success Linda McMahon has had as one of our graduates. I really think her inspiring achievements demonstrate the flexibility and practicality of a degree in foreign languages," said Knickerbocker. "Needless to say, it's humbling to be chosen as the first recipient. These resources will allow me time to finish my current book project on representations of apocalypse in Hispanic literature, and I think the best way to show my gratitude is to work hard to make it a first-rate study."
"This endowment will also allow me to present my work at several international conferences," said Knickerbocker. "I'm not sure we've made the general public aware of the value that our research adds to our students' degrees by bringing positive attention to our department and to ECU, and that's one way I'd like to repay Ms. McMahon for her generosity."
Knickerbocker's research interests include 20th Century Spanish narrative, fantasy literature and literary theory. At the beginning of his career, Prof. Knickerbocker focused on canonical modern Spanish narrative, and published widely on notable figures, including Nobel Prize winner Camilo José Cela, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester and Luis Martín Santos. His interest was then drawn to the novels of contemporary author Juan José Millás, resulting in his monograph, Juan José Millás: The Obsessive-Compulsive Aesthetic, which has been praised by scholars in the field as "an important contribution" and "a finely wrought analysis of Millás' fictional universe."
Turning to genre studies, Knickerbocker published widely on science fiction and fantasy literature. Currently, he is working on a study of turn-of-the-millennium apocalyptic fictions from Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Spain.
His work has appeared in top venues such as the Revista Hispánica Moderna; Anales de Literatura Española Contemporánea; Iberoamericana; Letras Peninsulares; Hispanic Journal; Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction; Extrapolation; and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He has been aninvited lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, the University of Florida and Harvard.
He is deeply committed to the internationalization of scholarship in his field, serving as head of the International Division of the Association of the Fantastic in the Arts; head judge of both the Jamie Bishop Award for "Best Scholarly Essay in a Language Other than English" and the International Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award; and President of the MLA Discussion Group on Science Fiction, Utopian and Fantastic Literature. Knickerbocker is also a member of the editorial boards of the journals Extrapolation; Alambique: Revista Académica de Fantasía y Ciencia Ficción; and Brumal, as well as associate editor and reviews editor of The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.
Prof. Knickerbocker received his PhD in Hispanic languages and literatures from SUNY Stony Brook, and his MA in Spanish language and literature, and BA in Spanish from Illinois State University. Upon completing his PhD in 1992, he accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at ECU. In 2006, he was promoted to the rank of professor of Hispanic Studies.