Illinois State University President Al Bowman has appointed English Professor Roberta Trites of the College of Arts and Sciences as a Distinguished Professor at Illinois State. The honor will be awarded at the Founders Day Convocation Feb. 21.
The Distinguished Professor designation honors faculty who have achieved national recognition for scholarly research or leadership; been clearly identified by students, colleagues or external agencies as an outstanding teacher and have contributed significant public service within the academic discipline.
Distinguished professors are invited to deliver a public lecture or presentation, receive $1,000 and hold the title throughout their service to Illinois State.
A member of the faculty since 1991, Professor Trites has built an international reputation for her research on adolescent literature, believing it ultimately molds adolescents into socially acceptable and conformist roles. Her books, Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels; Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature; and Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel have been viewed as transforming the field of children’s literature studies.
“The field of critical analysis of children’s literature would look very different today were it not for her work,” said Gregory Simpson, dean of Illinois State’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Her books are seen as truly transforming.”