Kwantlen president and vice chancellor, John McKendry
with author and Kwantlen English instructor James Panabaker.
For immediate release
Kwantlen instructor discusses the art of writing about history in his book
Metro Vancouver, BC – (April 18, 2012) – For most writers, the highlight of their academic lives is getting published. But for James Panabaker, it was receiving a handwritten note of praise from novelist and American historian Shelby Foote.
Panabaker, a 12-year instructor in Kwantlen Polytechnic University's English Department, studied American Literature for both his Master of Arts from Carleton University and Ph.D. from Queen's University.
His book, "Shelby Foote and the Art of History: Two Gates to the City," was inspired by his engagement with Foote's work during his academic studies, an appreciation that became the subject of his dissertation. Published by the University of Tennessee Press in December 2004, the book looks at Foote's work in the contexts of fiction, narrative history, southern history, and American literature.
"My book is a study of the themes and narrative strategies that Foote employed in his fictional apprenticeship and his masterpiece, "The Civil War," says Panabaker.
"Because his work is, in a sense, separated into two disciplines, it struck me that it had never been fully appreciated in its entirety by either literary scholars or historians. My book attempts to see Foote's work as a whole and to demonstrate the integral nature of the dialogue created in his narrative between fact and fiction."
The book is featured on Kwantlen's Surrey Campus Library's new "Read" posters. And as Panabaker discovered, he is not the only one with a fondness for American History.
"I was delighted to find out that President McKendry had posed with a copy of my book for the new posters," he says. "I wasn't aware that Dr. McKendry was a student of American History or that he had such extensive experience of the American South. Finding all this out made his selection of "Shelby Foote and the Art of History" all the more flattering."
"The compelling message imbedded in the new "Read" poster is the recognition given to James as a dedicated and productive member of our Faculty as well as the fact we share an abiding interest in different but complimentary facets of the American Civil War and a great Civil War author Shelby Foote", said President McKendry.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from more than 200 programs, including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.
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