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[BKARTS] Michael Suarez to head Rare Book School
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- Subject: [BKARTS] Michael Suarez to head Rare Book School
- From: Terry Belanger <belanger@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:09:50 -0400
- Message-id: <20090619040942.642F01F4FE0@fork10.mail.virginia.edu>
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Charlottesville, Va. Michael F. Suarez, S.J., will be the new
director of Rare Book School (RBS), a bibliographical institute based
at the University of Virginia.
UVa President John T. Casteen III announced the appointment
Thursday morning during his keynote address at the 50th annual
preconference of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the
American Library Association, being held in Charlottesville this week.
Suarez, 49, succeeds the retiring Terry Belanger, a 2005
MacArthur Fellow who founded RBS at Columbia University in 1983 and
brought the school to UVa in 1992. Like Belanger, Suarez will be a
University Professor at UVa, a senior rank that gives its holders
unusually broad opportunities for teaching and research. He will
take up his new position beginning September 1, 2009.
Suarez currently holds a joint appointment as J. A. Kavanaugh
Professor of English at Fordham University and as Fellow and Tutor in
English at Campion Hall, Oxford University. A Jesuit priest, he is
both co-editor of "The Cambridge History of the Book in
Britain, Volume 5, 1695-1830," to be published in September, and
co-general editor of "The Oxford Companion to the Book," expected in
January 2010. He is also co-editor of the eight-volume Oxford
University Press edition of the Collected Works of Gerald Manley
Hopkins, in progress. A former president and long-time board member
of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, he
has published an edition of Robert Dodsley's "Collection of Poems by
Several Hands (1748-58)," the best-selling poetry anthology in
eighteenth-century Britain; the selected essays of D. F. McKenzie
("Making Meaning: 'Printer's of the Mind and Other Essays"), and has
written many articles on various aspects of 18th-century English
literature, bibliography, and book history. He has also held
research fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
at Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the
American Council of Learned Societies, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Rare Book School is an affiliated foundation of UVa, with its
own endowment and board.
"Michael Suarez is admirably qualified to take on the RBS
position," said William T. Buice, III, the chair of the RBS Board of
Directors, and a partner in the New York City law firm of Davidson,
Dawson & Clark. "I was impressed by his intelligence, enthusiasm, and
eagerness to lead RBS."
The search committee for the RBS directorship consisted of three
members of the RBS board and three members from the UVa community.
"The search committee was greatly impressed by Suarez's insight
into the part that RBS has played in humanistic research over the
past 25 years," said chair Beverly P. Lynch, a professor in the
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. "We
liked his ideas about continuing RBS's traditions while expanding the
ways in which the school can be useful."
A former Marshall Scholar, Suarez has won several awards for his
poetry, as well as for bibliography and literary criticism. He holds
bachelor's degrees from Bucknell University and Oxford University
(first class hons.). He has a D.Phil in English literature from
Oxford University, where he studied with D. F. McKenzie; , and he
holds M.Div and Th.M degrees from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology.
RBS currently offers short non-credit courses for adults on
subjects ranging from medieval bookbinding structures to modern fine
printing. Each year, about 250 students take courses at the school
both in Charlottesville and in New York City, Baltimore, and
Washington DC. Admission to the school's five-day courses is
competitive. RBS is noted for the excellence of its faculty, many of
whom are world-renowned in their fields.
RBS students include curators and rare book librarians,
academics, antiquarian booksellers, book conservators and binders,
and book collectors. About 6,000 students have taken courses at the
school since its founding in 1983.
The school employs a widely admired --though rarely imitated --
course evaluation system in which attendees write detailed prose
accounts of their experience at the school. Their comments are then
mounted permanently and in their entirety on the school's website,
Suarez brings an unusually varied background to RBS. "He will
fit right in here," says retiring director Terry Belanger. "At RBS,
our theme song is 'other duties as required.' I'm honored that a
person of Michael Suarez's distinction has agreed to take over the
directorship of the school."
University Professor, Honorary Curator of Special Collections
Director, Rare Bk School : University of Virginia
Rare Book School : PO 400103 : Charlottesville, VA 22904-4103
Email belanger@xxxxxxxxxxxx : Phone 434-924-8851 : Fax 434-924-8824
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