NCSA 2009 President's Award Minimize
David C. Hanson
Professor of English, Southeastern Louisiana University

In 2004, NCSA President Robert Craig introduced the President's Award as a way to honor Association members who have contributed in extraordinary ways both to our scholarly organization and to scholarship in interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies. He stressed that this would be a personal award, a personal tribute. This year's recipient is someone I first met many years ago, but I came to know him well--and to admire him greatly--as we both became active in the Nineteenth Century Studies Association. As a member of the NCSA governing board, and more especially as editor for the past ten years of Nineteenth Century Studies, David Hanson, Professor and Head of the English Department at Southeastern Louisiana University, has had a profound impact not only on our association but also on the development of our interdisciplinary field.

First and foremost, David Hanson is an impressive scholar, a leading expert on the life and work of John Ruskin. In addition to his many published articles and book chapters on this centrally important critic of art and society, David has for a number of years been producing, in conjunction with The Electronic Ruskin Project and NINES, The Early Ruskin Manuscripts, 1826-1842: An Electronic Edition of the Collected Early Writings. When complete, this online archive will be an extraordinary resource.

David's enthusiasm for scholarship carries over to his work on Nineteenth Century Studies, which he edits with energy and erudition. Under his stewardship the journal has increased in size while consistently publishing lively, cutting-edge essays in a wide range of disciplines, by new and established scholars. David's commitment to dedicating generous space to illustrations has made NCS an important outlet for articles on art history and material culture, and has enabled writers on history and literary studies to provide images that enrich as well as illustrate their arguments. Themed issues have explored in depth topics such as childhood and religion. Wayne Booth, our shared graduate school mentor, told me some years ago that in a book David had proofread there is not one single typographical error, certainly a record. The conscientiousness applied in that humble task so many years ago is evinced in the care with which David selects, fact-checks, and edits every submission that makes it to publication. An essential resource for keeping up with research on the nineteenth century, NCS is also the kind of journal one reads for pleasure. It is always exciting in some way. As he enters his second decade as editor, David is pursuing options for electronic publication while at the same time seeking to ensure that what makes NCS unique and treasured will remain. And David Hanson's commitment to scholarly journals goes beyond our organization and our publication. Before taking on NCS he served as editor of Louisiana Literature: A Review of Literature and the Humanities, and he has been Vice President and President of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, organizing CELJ panels for the annual meetings of the Modern Language Association. Some of these were geared toward younger scholars, as in the bluntly named "What Editors Want." Others examined the implications and opportunities of the digital age, and the ways in which journals can be innovators.

Finally, David's vast knowledge about the nineteenth century--and about learned societies, publications, emerging trends and technologies--have made him a highly valued member of the NCSA Board and Executive Committee. I rely on his wisdom, and I am grateful for his generosity. It is indeed a great pleasure for me to honor David C. Hanson with this year's President's Award.

Meri-Jane Rochelson
President, NCSA