Susann SamplesDr. Susann Samples, full professor in the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, was named the holder of the Delaplaine Professorship this past fall. This professorship honors excellence in teaching and scholarship, and those who hold it are expected to contribute to curricular development and teaching, particularly in the core. Core Director, Dr. Greg Murry says, “The Delaplaine Professorship represents the best of the Mount’s interdisciplinary tradition.”
The Delaplaine Professorship was established in the mid 1990’s. It was funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), whereby the NEH would match a certain amount raised from a private donor. George and Bettie Delaplaine made the generous private gift, which was then matched by the NEH to establish the professorship. The Delaplaine Professorship rotates every three years. Both full and associate professors are eligible.
Dr. Samples’ topic, “The Black Diaspora in Europe,” grew out of her Global Encounters’ course, “The Black Diaspora in Russia and Germany.” By doing a comparative study of Russia and Germany, she will study the experience of individuals of African descent in the European context. Her goal is to introduce this topic to a wider audience and to begin the process of “decolonizing” our curriculum. Her seminars will enrich the university as an academic community by providing more insights about and perspectives of the Black/African Experience in Europe, which traditionally has been overlooked or ignored in academia.
In addition to her academic research and interest in this topic, Dr. Samples’ says, “I also bring, as an African-American internationalist, a personal dimension to the discussion because I have studied, lived, and travelled extensively in Europe. I will demonstrate the common humanity that we all share. As our world increasingly becomes a global village, the dignity of the human person and social justice for all are all the more important.”