Dean Robert Smart receives Newbridge Silver Literary Award

Dean Robert Smart
Dean Robert Smart

Sept. 2, 2014 - Robert Smart, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of English, recently received the Gerard Manley Hopkins Society's Newbridge Silver Literary Award at Maynooth University in County Kildare, Ireland.

Smart earned the honor during the society's' 27th International Festival July 19-25. The festival celebrates Hopkins, who was regarded as one of the Victorian-era's greatest poets. 

Smart was presented with the Newbridge Silver Literary Award during a banquet that included speakers such as Stuart Dwyer, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Dublin, as well as Andrew Delohery, of New Milford, Quinnipiac's associate vice president of retention and academic success.

"It's not often that an American scholar gets recognized overseas for doing work on Irish literature and history," Smart said. "If you look at some of the people who have received the award in the past there are some pretty big names like Hugh Kenner and Catherine Phillips. It's a very nice honor."

Delohery, who like Smart also served as a lecturer at the festival, said the Newbridge Silver Literary Award is the event's premier award.

"He's been recognized for both his scholarly work and contribution to the festival as well as his work and scholarly contributions to larger academic arenas on behalf of Hopkins," Delohery said.

Smart said his association with Irish scholars date back 15 years. He's also brought Quinnipiac students to Ireland over the years.

"The opening of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum and the Ireland's Great Hunger Institute really put Quinnipiac on the map in Ireland," Smart added. "It's a very small world. You don't realize it until you start playing in the water. It was nice to feel welcomed and recognized by a group of scholars that I have long admired and read myself."

Smart earned his doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Utah. He also holds a master's degree in rhetoric and comparative literature from the University of Utah and a bachelor's degree from the University of Maine, where he was a double major in English and history.

Smart is the founding editor of "The Writing Teacher" and the author of "The Nonfiction Novel" and numerous articles on Gothic and Irish literature.