The McAndless Distinguished Chair was established with the help of a generous bequest from the late M. Thelma McAndless, a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. The McAndless Scholar usually holds a one-semester appointment and is a nationally prominent figure in the arts or humanities.
2014 Daniel Johnston, Potter, North Carolina, English, and Thai ceramics traditions
Daniel Johnston is a prominent young member of a North Carolina hand made pottery tradition that goes back to the 18th century and continues to the present day. His reputation as an innovative and highly productive potter ranks with such internationally know potters and potteries as Mark Hewitt, Ben Owen III, and Jugtown Pottery. Johnston began working for local potteries when he was 16 years old and within two years he had produced more than 60,000 vessels. At 18 he began a four-year apprenticeship with Mark Hewitt (whose own training came from the Bernard Leach studio potter tradition via Leach's student and Hewitt's teacher Michael Cardew). During his time with Hewitt he also traveled to England where he worked with Clive Bowen for two months learning the English slipware tradition and gaining greater familiarity with the working methods and aesthetics of Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, and Shoji Hamada, potters whose work he admired. With sponsorship from the Smithsonian Institute, he later went to the small village of Phon Bok, near the Mekong River in northeast Thailand where he spent three months working with native Thai potters learning a unique method of making large storage vessels. This distinctive procedure for making large vessels is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Johnston's work. With the exception of a few students to whom he has recently taught the technique, he is the only potter in the United States using this process. While at EMU in Winter 2014, Daniel will teach the Thai large vessel coiling technique to EMU ceramics and sculpture students, present lectures to students in the art department, interested members of the university community and members of the local ceramics community on the development of the North Carolina, English, and Thai ceramics traditions. He will also mount an exhibition of work produced by the artist and his students in one of the campus galleries or another suitable venue to be determined by the Art Department.
2013 Laurie A. Finke, Professor, Kenyon College
2012 Evan Roth, Artist and Researcher based in Paris
2011 Mark Carnes, Professor, Barnard College
2010 Farzaneh Milani, Professor, University of Virginia
2009 Ali Mazrui, Professor, Binghamton University.
2008 Marshall Poe, Professor, University of Iowa
2007 N. Scott Hofmann, Professor, Cameron University