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Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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House, Gibson Win 2016 Huret Faculty Excellence Awards

Emerson College faculty members Roger House and Nigel Gibson will each take a semester off from teaching in the next academic year to pursue research as winners of the 2016 Judy and Bob Huret Award.

The Huret Award, made possible by a gift from Emerson Trustee Emerita Judy Huret, MA ’69, is offered to associate professors who want to advance their academic careers. One to three awards are given out per year.

Gibson is an associate professor in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, and, until he steps down at the end of the month, director of the Honors Program. He will use his Huret Award to work on two projects.

A scholar of Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist and revolutionary Frantz Fanon, Gibson will complete a book about Fanon’s essays on politics and psychiatry in their medical and political/social context that he is writing with an Italian colleague.

Gibson said he was grateful to have the time to finish the book.

“The larger conceptualization of framing work, moving from draft to finished product, is something that really needs time, and you can’t really do that if you’re teaching,” he said.

Gibson will also use the time to return to South Africa to research contemporary political movements, particularly the student uprisings over tuition, housing, and the country’s legacy of colonialism that have broken out over the past year.

Gibson’s last work, Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo, actually melded his two areas of interest.

While Gibson travels to the other side of the world, Roger House will stay right in Emerson’s backyard.

House, an associate professor in the Journalism Department, will use the award to continue researching and writing a book on Boston’s culture in the 1920s. The book, tentatively titled South End Shout, would be written both for the classroom and the general public.

He said in an email that the project “grew out of simple curiosity.” In his survey courses on American cultural history, House said he likes to include a specific Boston perspective, but came up short while preparing lessons on the Jazz Age.

“I found that the story of Boston’s cultural activity was largely untold,” he wrote.

House said he’s still early in his research, but so far, he has found evidence of “the influence of an ethos of rhythm” on cultural productions in the city during the 1920s.

“This spirit of creativity often exhibited African American-esque stylization across the various fields of expression. My desire is to uncover such works, and stories, and produce a good account for readers,” House wrote.

House is the author of Blue Smoke: The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy, and the producer of Victory Stride, an online social justice forum.