As an exchange professor in 1984-85, Professor Jones taught the Enlish course at the District Hogskole (liberal arts college) and the Laerarhogskole (teachers' college) in Stavanger, Norway. In the summer of 1989, just two months after being honored at Luther for completing twenty-five years of teaching, he died very suddenly of a heart attack while leading a walking tour of Norway with his wife Beth and some friends. A thoughtful person, dedicated teacher, helpful colleague, and jovial friend, Dennis is still missed at the College.
In the early 1990s, the NEH gave Luther College a $150,000 challenge grant for a distinguished teaching professorship in the humanities. Since Dennis Jones had written or supported several NEH grants for humanities education, the endowed professorship was named in his honor.
The Jones Distinguished Teaching Professorship is a two-year award to a member of the Luther faculty who honors the values and traditions of the humanities, engages significant issues in a humanities discipline, demonstrates the ability to nurture the intellectual life of students and provides academic leadership in the humanities. The Jones Professor devotes part of his/her professional time to a project that will enhance humanities education.
The English Department is proud that five of the eleven faculty members who have held this professorship since its institution. We list here those professors and their Jones projects.
https://sites.google.com/a/luther.edu/dsfaldet/field-notices--chips-columns), and writing a series of local history pieces for Decorah Newspapers. His research project was to consider how ideas of the environment began to shift in the work of Victorian writers such as Eliot, Hopkins, and Hardy as part of a distinctly English tradition of empiricism. His public outreach for the project in the first year helped people at Luther better connect with the local environment. When participants read Diane Ackerman's Natural History of the Senses they did an embodiment workshop with Jane Hawley of Theatre/Dance and had a sense-rich banquet. When they read the Audubon Field Guide to Eastern Forests they heard a short lecture on ecology by Biology professor Beth Lynch, followed by a walk that reconsidered the campus landscape, and a banquet featuring forest produce. Faldet also brought in experts from different communities. Ojibwe author David Treuer gave the 2008 fall convocation address and did a reading from his book The Translation of Dr. Apelles. A group of authors read from their collection, Eating In Place, Telling the Story of Local Foods. Bronx community organizer Majora Carter presented a spring distinguished lecture on her work to green her New York neighborhood. Environmental philosopher David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, did a campus workshop and lecture, and a number of persons from across campus read his book.
For information on all current Endowed Professorships at Luther, see the Dean's Office website.