The Association of Marquette University Women (AMUW) and Marquette’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities announced the selection of the 2023-24 AMUW Women’s Chair in Humanistic Studies. Dr. Amina Gautier, associate professor of English at the University of Miami, will join the Marquette Department of English in August.
Gautier is a scholar of 19th-century American literature and an award-winning fiction writer. Since receiving her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, her scholarly essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including African American Review, The Cambridge Companion to The American Short Story, Critical Insights: Frederick Douglass, Daedalus, Journal of American History, Libraries and Culture, Nineteenth Century Contexts, and Whitman Noir: Essays on Black America and the Good Grey Poet.
Gautier is the author of three award-winning short story collections: The Loss of All Lost Things (2016), Now We Will Be Happy (2014) and At-Risk (2011). She has been the recipient of over fifty awards, fellowships and prizes for her fiction. For her body of work, Gautier was awarded the Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. She is the first African American woman to win the prestigious Pen/Malamud Award since its inception in 1988.
As the AMUW Chair, Gautier will interact with the Marquette community, teaching an advanced undergraduate fiction workshop (English 4250), and will deliver the Eleanor H. Boheim Distinguished Lecture.
Some faculty in the English Department remember Gautier from her time as a Mitchem Dissertation Fellow in 2004–2005. Dr. Sarah Wadsworth, professor of English in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, said having her rejoin the Marquette community as AMUW Chair, “represents a remarkable opportunity for students of all levels to learn from an exceptional writer, scholar, and teacher. Her return to Marquette nearly 20 years after her time here as a Mitchem Dissertation Fellow is truly an honor to our campus and an occasion for jubilation.”
Drs. Alison Efford, Amanda Keeler, Melissa Ganz, Tara Daly and Kate Ward served on the faculty chair selection committee.
The Chair in Humanistic Studies was endowed in 1963 through successful fundraising by AMUW members. The Boheim Lecture Series was established concurrently with a gift from Mary Boheim Finnigan, a friend of Marquette, in honor of her mother.
A group of alumnae formed the AMUW in 1938 to provide housing for women on campus. Since then, the organization has turned its focus to scholarships; annual awards to recognize outstanding graduating students, alumnae and female faculty members; and social, spiritual and educational events that bring women together.