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Comfort Receives Fulbright Scholarship to Support Research in India

Susan Comfort

Dr. Susan Comfort, associate professor in the Department of English, has been selected for a Fulbright Scholarship.

She is one of only eight hundred faculty in the nation selected for this competitive scholarship and is IUP’s sixtieth Fulbright Scholarship recipient.

The award will support Comfort’s research at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in New Delhi, India, from January to May 2011.

“Dr. Comfort’s Fulbright award brings honor to the Department of English and IUP,” Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, said. “This is another demonstration of the quality and excellence of our faculty.”

“I’m thrilled to receive this grant because it will eventually provide me with more resources and experience that I can share with students at IUP,” Comfort said.

“Throughout my fifteen years here, students have been my primary source of inspiration and intellectual vitality. I am grateful to students and colleagues at IUP for creating, in sometimes difficult economic circumstances, a stimulating environment of intellectual exchange and growth. I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award, and I really owe it to them.”

Comfort will work closely with the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in New Delhi during her research.

“As India experiences rapid economic growth, environmental questions in relation to issues of social justice and gender equality are becoming more prevalent—if not urgent,” Comfort said. “In my interactions with my hosts, I will strive to add to the democratic dialogue over these vital questions, which will be immeasurably enriched and extended by perspectives imbued with knowledge of culture, social institutions, and history.”

Comfort said that her research also will allow her continued development of knowledge and expertise in postcolonial literature, feminist theory, and environmental cultural studies. She also will offer guest lectures on her research at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies during her visit.

“My larger objective is that my work will help to bring attention to the voices of scholars and writers, especially women, struggling to awaken change toward more peaceful, equitable approaches to social and environmental crises.”

Comfort joined the IUP faculty in 1994. She has both her master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Texas at Austin and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Her work has appeared in several peer-reviewed publications, and she has presented locally, regionally, and internationally. She was selected for the 2009 Certificate of Merit Award for Faculty Productivity in Published Scholarship, a 2008 Special Service Award from the IUP Office of Civic Engagement, and a 2005 University Senate Research Grant. She also has participated in the university’s Alternative Spring Break program.

Comfort has served as a member of several universitywide and departmental committees, including the APSCUF Gender and Social Justice Committee, Women’s Studies Steering Committee, Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee, Women’s Studies Search Committee, and IUP Safe Zone.

She is a member of the Indiana Cares Campaign to End Homophobia and is cofounder and was, for several years, cocoordinator of the ICC LGBT Film Festival. She is a member of Friends of White’s Woods.