Award Goes to UB Professor for Biography of Celebrated 18th-Century Clown

Release Date: April 9, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Royal Society of Literature and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation has presented its £10,000 ($19,946) annual award for non-fiction to Andrew Stott, Ph.D., associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo.

Stott, a former stand-up comic, received the award to support his work-in-progress, a book on humor, depression and Joseph Grimaldi (1779-1837), the great Regency harlequinade and pantomimist.

Thomas Ponsonby, the administrative director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, says the annual awards -- one for £10,000 and two for £5,000 each -- act as an umbrella over the early careers of the young writers of non-fiction who receive them, permitting them to carry out new research and devote more time to their endeavor, and thus produce a better book.

Stott, a Buffalo resident who joined the UB English Department faculty in 2002, teaches upper-level graduate courses and directs the department's master's degree program. His research and teaching focuses on early-modern visual culture, as well as the popular culture, comedy, drama, spectacle and popular entertainments of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

He has been fascinated by comedic performance since he was a child, and after receiving his doctorate from the University of Cardiff, he worked as a stand-up comic in England for four years before beginning an academic career that has focused in some part on the analysis of humor and comedic performance.

Stott's previous publications include "Comedy" (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), The Fondness, The Filthiness: Laughter and Deformity in Early-Modern Comedy, The Upstart Crow: A Shakespeare Journal, XXIV (2004) and "Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History" (ed. with Peter Buse, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999), a collection of theoretical essays that considers the efficacy and use of the concepts of haunting and spectrality as they appear in literature, culture and theory.

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