Professor McDayter to write book on flirtation

By Christina Oddo

Writer

Ghislaine McDayter is more than just a professor. She is also an author, a “Romantic,” a cook and a calligrapher.

McDayter, an associate profess of English who has been at the University for 14 years, was born in Toronto, Canada. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. Seven months after McDayter graduated, she traveled to France, learned French and “perfected the art of living on bread and cheese—very good bread and cheese, it must be said,” McDayter said. She then studied Romanticism and earned her Ph.D. at Duke University.

Since then, McDayter has become a successful writer. Her last book, “Byromania and the Birth of Celebrity Culture,” was published by SUNY Press last year, and was awarded the Elma Dangerfield Prize for the best recent work on Byron by the International Byron’s Society. “It’s really about Byron’s poetic career and the origins of what we have now come to think of as celebrity culture,”  McDayter said.

McDayter is currently working on her next book, regarding flirtation in 19th century literature, entitled “Licentious Tyrants: Flirtation, Feminism and Nineteenth-Century Literature.” She will be teaching a seminar based on her research next semester.

“I wanted to come to a university where I knew that teaching was not something the professors did out of a painful sense of duty, but rather because they loved working with students,” McDayter said.  “I think the liberal arts education offered at institutions like the University remains the most productive and pedagogically exciting way to learn—both for the students and instructors.”

McDayter decided to become a professor very early on in her life. She thoroughly enjoys reading and writing, exchanging ideas about literature, and she especially loves analyzing literature, as it is like “working out a puzzle.”

McDayter likes to cook and do calligraphy when she has free time. She also enjoys yoga and hiking. If she is not teaching and collaborating with her students, she is spending time with her two children.

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