Faculty Award–Winner: Janice Doane

Janice DoaneEnglish Professor Janice Doane received the Research-Scholar Award from the Saint Mary's Committee on Teaching and Scholarship for her impressive work on legendary writer Gertrude Stein and compelling discussions on feminist literary criticism. Doane is one of four recipients of the annual faculty awards on behalf of the Office of Faculty Development and the Provost. Doane has complemented her impressive 30-year career at Saint Mary’s with an extensive collection of published books, journal articles, and peer reviews, many of which she co-authored with George Mason University Professor Devon Hodges. “You’ve just got to love what you do. And I really love teaching,” said Doane of balancing her time in the archives with her time in the classroom.

“Research is like a detective story. You notice something no one has commented on, and you get curious,” said Doane, whose research and course topics have included detective fiction. “I look at one piece of information and it has this domino effect.” Doane encourages such love of research in her students, evidenced by the large painting hanging in her office—a project inspired by students’ research on women in the Beat Generation. “I enjoy having my students do research and making it creative—they find the joys of research themselves.”

“Saint Mary’s has been a great place for me to do research,” she said. “They have always been very generous and I feel that I have had room to develop courses thanks to that.” Doane’s research and teaching have influenced each other at Saint Mary’s. As she and Hodges were researching and writing their book, Telling Incest, Doane invented a January Term course called “The Art of Trauma” and while teaching another Jan Term course called “The Horror Story” she was inspired to write an article on the motif of hair in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Doane’s research even inspired her to broaden the American Literature survey course, required for every English major, encouraging the inclusion of more female and ethnic voices. She now brings old anthologies into her classes to show what was previously taught, and has students count the small number of female or ethnic writers included. “They are usually quite surprised,” said Doane of the students’ reactions.

Doane will present her recent sabbatical research about the collaboration between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas on April 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Dante 116 with the Women and Gender Studies Program. Hearing Doane compare Stein’s handwriting to Toklas’, it is clear how much joy she takes in her research. Next, she will teach several American literature courses such as 19th- and 20th-century literature and embark on more research detective adventures.