ECU Whichard professor awarded $240,000 NEH grant

 East Carolina University professor Dr. Gary A. Stringer received a $240,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his project, “An Edition of John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets and a Further Expansion of Digital Donne.”

Dr. Gary Stringer

The grant is the tenth since 1986 that NEH has awarded to support the Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne, which Stringer serves as general editor. The online Variorium provides a digest of scholarly and critical commentary on Donne’s poetry. The award includes an additional $30,000 in federal matching funds.

Stringer said he was pleased to have received the award. “It testifies to the confidence in what we’re doing shared by the agency and by our peers in the profession who reviewed the application, especially since it’s the tenth in a series of such awards that we’ve received. I think all of us in the Varirorum project are gratified by that kind of validation,” he said.

During the three-year period of the grant, Stringer and the Variorum staff will work on the three-part volume of Donne’s “Songs and Sonnets,” with plans to publish two of the three volumes during the grant period. They will also work on an expansion of the project’s web site DigitalDonne, the Online Variorum, at

Stringer, whose most recent appointment was research professor of English at Texas A&M University, joined the ECU faculty for the 2011-12 academic year as the David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, housed within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, and as a visiting professor in the Department of English. The Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities is an endowed professorship made possible through a donation by the Whichard family in honor of David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard of Greenville.

As part of the Whichard Professorship, Stringer will teach one course each semester in the ECU Department of English. This fall, he is teaching a graduate-level course on the satirical writings of John Donne. In the spring, he will teach a graduate-level course related to digital humanities.

Stringer received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. degrees in English from the University of Oklahoma. During his nearly 50-year academic career, he has held faculty appointments at the University of Oklahoma; Oklahoma State University; Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA; the University of Southern Mississippi; and most recently, Texas A&M University.

Stringer is the founding general editor of the Variorum, an 11-volume work drawing on the collaborative labors of nearly 40 American, Canadian, British, Dutch, South African and Japanese scholars. He has authored or edited 12 volumes, including four volumes of the Variorum, and he has published more than three dozen articles within his field of study. In addition, Stringer has presented nearly 50 papers at professional meetings and conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

Stringer has received faculty service awards and research grants from many of the institutions where he has taught. Also, since 1986, Stringer has been the recipient of grants totaling more than $1.5 million from the NEH.

For additional information, contact Stringer at




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