Valparaiso University Associate Professor of English Sara R. Danger, Ph.D., has received the Philip and Miriam Kapfer Endowed Faculty Research Award to continue her work in researching and completing a monograph highlighting child authorship in the wake of the United States Civil War.
The biennial award is funded by an endowment established by the Kapfer family and named in honor of Philip K. Kapfer, Ph.D., and Miriam B. Kapfer, Ph.D., both of whom, during long careers, developed and published innovative curriculum designs and strategies for elementary and secondary schools, higher education settings and corporate training programs. The Kapfers are parents to alumni Paul Kapfer ’89, J.D., and Stephanie Kapfer ’91, M.D. The Award provides one semester of full-time leave with pay or two consecutive semesters with a half-time schedule, plus a $4,000 stipend.
Danger believes that by uncovering stories written by minors she can challenge the general perception of young people as pure consumers of media, separate from adult culture, and reevaluate their position as active participants in print.
"I am humbled and honored to receive the Miriam and Philip Kapfer Fellowship in support of my research on child authorship,” said Danger. “As we’ve seen in the past decade alone, young people are far more than consumers and recipients of adult narratives. Remarkable young activists, including Greta Thunberg, Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai, demonstrate that youth are capable of powerful storytelling. In the 19th century, young people proved to be socially engaged, politically active and creative rhetoricians.
Danger, who joined the faculty in 2006, teaches courses on a variety of topics, including Victorian literature and culture, children’s literature and women’s writing. In addition to her upcoming book, she has also published nine peer-reviewed articles for publication. Danger has also published an edited volume as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles.
Kapfer Research Award recipients are selected by the Creative Work and Research Committee based on the originality and significance of the proposal, as well as the applicant’s perceived capacity to complete the work.