Professor wins SC Governor’s and Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards
English professor Ed Madden has been honored with two major awards in 2022, one from the South Carolina Arts Commission and one from the University of South Carolina.
The South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts (conferred by the SC Arts Commission) is “the highest honor the state gives in the arts.” It recognizes “outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina,” honoring “arts organizations, patrons, artists, members of the business community, and government entities.” The Breakthrough Leadership in Research award (conferred by the Provost’s office at UofSC) “celebrates senior faculty who take a multifaceted approach to inspiring excellence in research through mentoring under-represented minorities, collaborating with colleagues across disciplines, reaching out to the community and engaging in other unique activities.”
The accomplishments that have earned Dr. Madden these awards are legion. For decades now, he has been doing public-facing work of an exceptionally significant kind. He has explored the myriad values of diversity while providing to those he mentors, especially the underrepresented and disenfranchised, the critical-artistic tools that allow them to claim and nurture their own powers. Madden comes at his topics from a plurality of angles: as a poet, a scholar, a teacher, an LGBTQI activist, an archivist of the historically forgotten—and in multiple combinations of all of these. His stint as the first Poet Laureate of Columbia furnished him with a platform for making poetry a public art for people of all ages, weaving it into our communal rituals of grief, remembrance, and celebration. Madden’s work on temporality and male fragility, in queer/postcolonial Irish writers, is just one part of his field-changing contributions to Irish Studies—contributions that have influenced a generation and founded a scholarly-activist movement.
“I’m thrilled by both awards,” said Madden. “I am moved by the Breakthrough, as I appreciate the recognition of a hybrid critical-creative career, one that doesn't quite fall into predictable paths, but the Governor's Award is such a lovely recognition as I’m finishing my term as the city laureate.”