Elizabeth Fine honored with emerita status
September 14, 2015
Elizabeth Fine, professor of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emerita” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, Fine’s teaching and scholarship focused on cultural studies, African American folklore, performance studies, and Appalachian Studies.
As the co-creator and co-director of Virginia Tech’s Master of Arts Program in Material Culture and Public Humanities, Fine helped develop its curriculum, set policies and procedures, recruited and advised students, designed and taught new courses, and was a mentor to the next generation of museum, non-profit, public humanities professionals.
Fine was the author of award-winning book, "The Folklore Text: From Performance to Print," which remains one of the most influential works in its field. Her second book, "Soulstepping: African American Step Shows," documented the forms, meanings, and transformations of African American stepping traditions.
Fine served as associate editor for Text and Performance Quarterly. Her scholarship has been published in such journals as the Journal of American Folklore, Semiotica, Communication Monographs, Communication Education, Journal of the Appalachian Studies Association, National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Southern Folklore, Literature in Performance, Annals of Tourism Research, Sprache und Sprechen, and The Drama Review.
She also created film and video documentaries, including "Well-Known Stranger: Howard Finster's Workout" in 1987.
During her tenure at Virginia Tech, Fine was the coordinator of the Appalachian Studies Program from 1993 to 1999; director of the Humanities Program in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies from 1999 to 2003, and resumed leadership of the Humanities Program in 2007. She was the inaugural chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2003 to 2007.
Fine also led and sustained efforts to preserve the physical structure of Solitude, Virginia Tech’s oldest building, and the adjoining log cabin.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.