Dauenhauer Selected 2013 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence Winner
Richard Dauenhauer, retired professor of Alaska Native Languages and
Culture at the University of Alaska Southeast, is the 2013 recipient
of the University of Alaska Foundation’s prestigious Edith R. Bullock
Prize for Excellence. The Bullock Prize for Excellence includes a cash
award and is the largest single award made annually by the UA
Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce that former University of
Alaska professor, Richard Dauenhauer is this year’s Edith R. Bullock
Prize for Excellence recipient,” announced Jo Michalski, chair of the
Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Edith Bullock established the award
to showcase the extraordinary achievements of individuals on behalf of
the University of Alaska system. Dr. Dauenhauer’s work in preserving
endangered Alaska Native languages, especially Tlingit, exemplifies
excellence by connecting the university with our native language
citizens and introducing their culture to the world.”
Described as a renaissance man, Dauenhauer is a poet, translator,
Tlingit expert, and a former Alaska Poet Laureate. He received his
Bachelor of Arts in Russian from Syracuse University; Master of Arts
in German from the University of Texas; and Doctorate in Comparative
Literature from the University of Wisconsin.
Dauenhauer became an honorary member of the Tlingit nation upon his
marriage to Nora Marks Dauenhauer, a Tlingit native. Together they
have anthologized four volumes of translated poems, and written over
thirty articles of translations, linguistics, Tlingit literature,
language shift, history and cultural survival. Dauenhauer has created
a framework in which students can work with fluent speakers of
Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian before the languages die out.
“Without a doubt, the revitalization of Tlingit language and
linguistics today would not have been possible with the achievements
of Richard Dauenhauer, in support of the University of Alaska’s
mission: to advance and disseminate knowledge through creative
teaching, research, and public service with an emphasis on Alaska, the
North and their diverse peoples,” notes Dr. Robin Walz, in his
Dauenhauer has taught at the university since 1984. He was appointed
President’s Professor of Alaska Native Languages and Culture jointly
at UAS and UAF in 2005. During his tenure he designed and taught
courses leading to the Tlingit language minor and was instrumental in
building up the Alaska Native Language program at UAS. He created
several joint educational programs between the university and Alaska
Native tribal organizations in an effort to preserve Alaska Native
languages and cultures.
Dauenhauer’s work has been recognized outside of Alaska. In 1990, he
was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to represent the United
States as one of five scholars participating in a joint USA-USSR
folklife project on cognate culture working with Soviet colleagues on
the folklore of Native peoples of Alaska, Siberia and the Far East. He
has been an invited lecturer nationally and internationally.
Dauenhauer has been recognized twice with the Before Columbus
Foundation’s American Book Award for his books, Ano shi Lingit Aani
Ka, Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804
and Haa Tuwuna agu Yis, for Healing our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory.
The Bullock award was established by the late Edith R. Bullock, who
served the university for 30 years as a member of the UA Board of
Regents and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The University of
Alaska Foundation raises, invests and manages privately donated funds
for the sole benefit of the University of Alaska.