GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sheila J. Nayar, professor of English, communication and media studies at Greensboro College, has published an article in “Theology and Literature,” an academic journal published by Oxford University Press.
And she wants everyone to know that she has her students to thank.
The article,“Dante’s Star of the Sea: The Narrative Constellation of Mary in the Divine Comedy,” argues that Dante’s epic poem pivots on a constellation of associations with the Virgin Mary as Stella Maris, or the Star of the Sea. Nayar demonstrates how those associations work to bind the three canticles of the poem.
The article has its roots in classes she has taught at Greensboro College.
Four years ago, Nayar published her book “Dante’s Sacred Poem: Flesh and the Centrality of the Eucharist to the Divine Comedy” – thanks in large measure to her teaching in the honors program at Greensboro College.
The kernel for the book developed in the freshman humanities course “The Stories We Tell Ourselves,” which she co-taught with religion and ethics professor Dan Malotky. That course traces human history and culture through literature from Hellenistic Greece to the early Renaissance.
So integral was her teaching to the development of her book idea that she dedicated the book to her students at the time. And in turn, she says, the idea for her new article arose from the book.
“That’s often the pathway my scholarship takes,” Nayar says. “So, just to be safe, I should probably thank my current and future students, no less than my former ones.”
Nayar’s fourth book, “Renaissance Responses to Technological Change,” will be officially released in the coming weeks.
Nayar holds a B.A. from Concordia University, an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the Greensboro College faculty in 1999.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities. Learn more at greensboro.edu.
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