Northern Michigan University student Tim Grams was recently honored as the Region III winner of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Prize for innovative work by a graduate student. Grams is completing his master's degree in English/theatre.
Ansley Valentine, director of theater, submitted a letter in support of Grams' nomination for the award. He stated that while Grams' research has focused on Shakespeare and gender roles, perhaps most innovative is his emphasis on the correlation between Imperial Rome and the Roman ideal of masculinity, and the different forms and expressions of masculinity in 20th century America.
"Tim has focused on the rapid changes of those shifting paradigms or stereotypes and how they have been demonstrated in a variety of dramatic works," Valentine wrote. "I have enjoyed reading his work because he deconstructs the male narrative but through a lens other than feminism. I don’t believe his work is looking to perpetuate a patriarchal world view. Instead, he is examining how dramatists have reflected the changing male roles, the conflict between generations regarding the male role and the challenges faced by the characters as they try to redefine themselves against the backdrop of a changing society."
Valentine said Grams previously was invited to present a paper at the Comparative Drama Conference in 2015. That paper dealt with nihilism in A Raisin in the Sun, but also addressed the issues of gender, gender roles and gender bias.
ATHE is a non-profit professional organization representing college and university theatre departments and administrators, faculty, graduate students and theatre practitioners. Its mission is to support and advance the study and practice of theatre and performance in higher education.