Western Carolina University


Image: Annette Debo
Annette Debo

Annette Debo, assistant professor of English, is recipient of a grant from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation to assist her in finishing her project “The American H.D.: Theorizing Modernist Identity.”

Debo's monograph was one of 58 projects chosen for funding by the foundation out of 738 applications. She is receiving an American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant of $6,000.

Debo's project addresses the significance of nationality in the artistic vision of modernist writer Hilda Doolittle.

“Hilda Doolittle serves as an important subject for study because of her versatile career that stretched from 1909 to 1961,” Debo said. “She was a major American writer who lived her adult life abroad, a poet who also wrote experimental novels, a white writer with ties to the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual who collaborated on avant-garde films, and an upper-middle-class woman who refused to follow gender conventions.”

Debo's study looks at Doolittle's early life in the United States and her continuing personal ties, including new information about her studies at the University of Pennsylvania and her pivotal literary friendships with American writers Marianne Moore and Sylvia Beach.

Debo's analysis also addresses Doolittle's presentation of American places in her literary imagery, carries on Doolittle's argument that racial difference constitutes a fundamental characteristic of American literature, and contends that Doolittle chronicles the radically changing gender mores in American culture.

Debo has been a member of the WCU faculty since 2001. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland.

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Last modified: Friday, August 11, 2006
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