Amber Manning, Ph.D. Candidate, 2023 Stephen Horne Excellence in Teaching Award Winner

Headshot of Amber Manning Ph.D. Candidate

Congratulations to Amber Manning, the winner of the 2023 Stephen Horne Award for Excellence in Teaching. The English Department at Duke University is excited to award Manning with this well-deserved honor. She was nominated by six students in her Fall 2022 English 208S.01 course, "Criticism and the Arts: No End in Sight." 

One student wrote in their nomination:   

Amber Manning is one of the best professors I've had at Duke. Her class was extremely engaging, and she cared so deeply for her students. She always chose interesting material to talk about, and it was clear that she had extensive knowledge of the topic. She was so approachable and helped me through a difficult personal time.

On the syllabus for "Criticism and the Arts: No End in Sight," Manning shared:

In this class, we will consider how and why poetry, prose, comics, and television writers craft serial narratives that, in many cases, either end with the author's death or even outlive their creator.

She also noted that the class would address several questions:

What cultural events inspire comic series that continue generation after generation? What social impulses do long-running shows like The Simpsons respond to? How do poets like Nathaniel Mackey theorize society with the "long song"? Why do contemporary writers produce serial novels that only end when the author dies? And, most importantly, what theory of society emerges from the un-ending narrative, and how can critics grapple with it?

Another student wrote in their nomination:

Amber Manning's class is far and away the best class I've taken at Duke. Every aspect of the syllabus worked perfectly together, exposing me to new works and ideas that I consistently come back to. She encouraged me to adapt a paper I wrote for her class for presentation at the Popular Culture Association national conference… Manning is a delightful person and an even more delightful instructor.

The Stephen Horne Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented annually to a graduate student instructor in the English Department who demonstrates outstanding commitment and excellence in the classroom. Instructors are nominated by their students, and selection is made by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the DGS Advisory Committee. In memory of Stephen Horne, this award was established in 1998 by Professors Stanley Fish and Jane Tompkins. Horne was a 1991-97 graduate student in English who displayed an inspiring passion for teaching that was evident to his students, friends, and mentors.