STANFORD, CA, October 25, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Dr. Fishkin with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, factors such as noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
An English assignment during her junior year at Staples High School—"write a paper on how Mark Twain used satire and irony to attack racism in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"— first sparked her interest in a career at the crossroads of literature and social justice. Dr. Fishkin was a member of the first class of women in Yale College, which she entered in 1969. Breaking the gender barrier at Yale helped attune her to the absurdity and illogic of other exclusionary barriers—such as those based on race, ethnicity, or nationality, and fueled her desire to devote much of her professional life to dismantling them.
She received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College in 1971 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), with Honors with Exceptional Distinction in English. In 1974 she earned a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Philosophy in American Studies from Yale University, and in 1977 she received a Ph.D. from Yale in American Studies. After finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Fishkin remained at Yale until 1985, serving as the Associate Chubb Fellow and as the Director of the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, while also teaching.
She taught American Studies and English at the University of Texas at Austin from 1985 to 2003, where she also served as Chair of the American Studies Department. Since 2003, she has been a professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program at Stanford University, where she was named the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities in 2010. Since 2012, she has also served as co-director (with Gordon H. Chang) of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford.
Dr. Fishkin's passion for complicating and challenging the stories America tells about itself as a nation and a culture has often led her to question widely-accepted paradigms and assumptions in the 47 books she has authored, edited or co-edited, and in the more than 150 articles, essays and reviews she has published. It also led her to focus on previously silenced, neglected, or marginalized voices in America's past. Many of her books have won awards. "From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America," won a Frank Luther Mott Award from the National Journalism Scholarship Society in 1986. "Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African American Voices" in 1993, won an Outstanding Academy Book Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. "Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America" (co-edited with David Bradley) was named "One of the Best Reference Works of 1997" by "Library Journal," and won an "Outstanding Reference Award" in 1998 from the New York Public Library. "Feminist Engagements: Forays into American Literature and Culture" was recognized as an Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2009 and "Writing America; Literary Landmarks from Waldon Pond to Wounded Knee" was runner-up in general nonfiction at the London Book Festival in 2015, and was honored as an Outstanding Title by the American Association of University Professors in 2016.
From 1993 to 2003 she co-edited Oxford University Press's "Race and American Culture" book series with Arnold Rampersad. Other publications include the 29-volume "Oxford Mark Twain" (1996), "Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture" (1997), and, most recently, "The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad" (co-edited with Gordon H. Chang) (2019). Her research on Mark Twain and race has twice been featured on the front page of "The New York Times" and her successful efforts to bring a previously unpublished and unproduced play by Mark Twain to Broadway was twice featured on the front page of "The New York Times" Arts section. (The play, "Is He Dead?" by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives, has been produced over 400 times in 48 states and 7 countries.) In 2017 she was awarded the John Tuckey award "for lifetime achievements and contributions to Mark Twain Studies" by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, at the 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies.
As president of the American Studies Association in 2004, she championed the importance of transnational perspectives on the field, and in 2009, she co-founded the "Journal of Transnational American Studies" to help give such perspectives greater attention. In 2019, the American Studies Association inaugurated a new prize—the "Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize" for International Scholarship in Transnational American Studies in honor of Dr. Fishkin's contributions to the field. The organization's announcement noted that her "leadership in creating crossroads for international scholarly collaboration and exchange has transformed the field of American Studies in both theory and practice." This award honors her outstanding dedication to promoting exceptional scholarship that fosters "comprehensive and complex approaches to American Studies" and "culturally, socially and politically significant insights and interpretations relevant to Americanists around the world."
Dr. Fishkin is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, has served as President of the Mark Twain Circle of America, and was co-founder of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society. She has given keynote talks at conferences in Basel, Beijing, Cambridge, Coimbra, Copenhagen, Dublin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kunming, Kyoto, La Coruña, Lisbon, Mainz, Nanjing, Regensburg, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Taipei, Tokyo, and across the U.S.
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