The late J.D. Stahl, professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the “professor emeritus” title posthumously by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community from 1982 until his death earlier this year, Stahl made significant contributions to the understanding of children’s literature and American literature, especially in their cross-cultural contexts, through research and publication that included the co-edited anthology, Crosscurrents of Children’s Literature: An Anthology of Texts and Criticism (Oxford 2006) and Mark Twain, Culture and Gender: Envisioning America through Europe (Georgia 1994). He also wrote numerous articles, book chapters, and translations.

Stahl transformed the children’s literature program at Virginia Tech from a single undergraduate survey course to a highly respected set of undergraduate and graduate courses and prepared a cohort of faculty, in part, through the study group on children’s literature he organized and led over a period of years.

He shared his knowledge and enhanced the reputation of Virginia Tech in children’s literature by serving as president of the Children’s Literature Association, participating in its annual conferences, and organizing and hosting conferences in Roanoke.

Stahl was a dedicated and beloved teacher whose excellence was recognized by the William E. Wine Award, the Alumni Teaching Award, and induction into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Stahl received his bachelor’s degree from Goshen College, a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.



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