Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, JBU associate professor of humanities, has been named the 2019 Hiett Prize in Humanities Award Winner. The Hiett Prize, awarded annually by The Dallas institute of Humanities and Culture, is given to candidates who are in the early stages of their careers, devoted to the humanities, whose work shows extraordinary promise and has a significant public component related to contemporary culture.
The Hiett Prize includes a cash award of $50,000 to assist and encourage the award recipient in their ongoing work as a future leader in humanities.
“Receiving a prize like this puts the spotlight on one person for a day, but the reality is that there are a ton of people involved who deserve the recognition for the award—the university that supports me, past teachers who have challenged me, writers who inspire me, students who learn with me, my friends who encourage me, the family who loves me and the Lord who is the giver of all good gifts. Soli Deo Gloria,” Wilson said.
Wilson, a Fulbright Scholar, has published three books: “Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov” (Wipf & Stock 2016), “Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence” (Ohio State UP, 2017) and “Reading Walker Percy’s Novels” (Louisiana State UP, 2018).
Among Wilson’s current writing projects is the notable commission to work toward publication of Flannery O’Connor’s novel “Why Do the Heathen Rage?,” unfinished at the time of O’Connor’s death in 1964.
Wilson’s research and teaching interests include Christianity and literature, especially Catholic literature and Russian novels. She has lectured widely across the U.S. and in Canada as an invited speaker and has initiated several programs in the humanities both within and outside academe.