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K-State Today

November 20, 2020

Tung receives teaching award from national organization

Submitted by Karin Westman

Shirley Tung

Shirley Tung, assistant professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received a 2020-2021 Innovative Course Design award from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

The society recognized Tung for her undergraduate capstone course, ENGL 698, on The Cult of Celebrity: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day, taught in fall 2019.

The annual competition promotes excellence in teaching eighteenth-century studies at the undergraduate level, according to the society, which has been offering the award for 35 years. Recipients share their award-winning course pedagogy at the society's annual conference and on a dedicated website. Tung will be honored at the society's virtual conference in April 2021.

Tung was inspired by the dual goals of the capstone course — expertise in English and professional development — to create a course that, in her words, "interrogates performativity through the lens of celebrity culture."

"During the semester, my students and I traced the evolving concepts of celebrity and fame, using Joseph Roach's book 'It' and its premise that celebrity emerged in the eighteenth century," Tung said. "I built my course around topics such as 'Celebrities as Royalty/Royalty as Celebrities,' 'The Fetishization of the Female Body,' 'Celebrity Feuds,' and 'Popular Media,' comparing the depictions of celebrity and fame in literary works and cultural productions from the eighteenth century to the modern day."

Tung will be offering the course again in the spring 2021 semester. A trailer for the course is available from the department's YouTube channel.

"Shirley Tung is one of our most creative and inspiring instructors in an English department of award-winning teachers," said Karin Westman, department head of English. "We are thrilled to have her innovative and rigorous undergraduate capstone course recognized by a national organization of scholars dedicated to the intersection of teaching and research." 

More information about Tung's research is available from Tung's faculty page.

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