Prof. Dr. Page Laws

Current professional background

I serve as Professor of English and Dean of the R. C. Nusbaum Honors College at Norfolk State University (NSU) in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. I have worked at NSU for 31 years. NSU is a historically Black University that was founded in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, to offer Black students in Tidewater, Virginia (our region’s name at that time) a chance at higher education.

Field of research

My PhD is in Comparative Literature (Yale 1979), with emphases in French/Francophone, German and English/Anglophone literature. I am particularly interested in European and African views of America, and much of my work has focused on modern and post-modern fiction, drama and film. I do Cultural Studies, often with a transnational emphasis.

Purpose of your last research visit

My most recent visit to University of  Siegen was for a symposium entitled “Migration and Immigration in Europe and the Americas.” I was accompanied by five NSU Honors faculty colleagues who presented their work at the symposium and enjoyed hearing papers by Siegen professors. Prof. Dr. Stein was the co-organiser of the symposium. My NSU Honors faculty colleague Dr. Manalang also visited Cologne and Siegen this past summer to continue her research on the religious views of millennial immigrants to Germany.

Relation to the University of Siegen and the local host

We have a long-standing relationship begun almost a decade ago by Dr. Waegner, now retired from the Department of English/American Studies at the University of Siegen. Dr. Waegner and I hosted a faculty exchange between NSU and Siegen, also on the theme of immigration, back around 2008. Then Prof. Dr. Stein took up the role of facilitator, helping arrange for a memorandum of understanding between our two institutions. 

Future projects and Activities

We hope that our “Mother(s) of Exiles” project – comparing attitudes towards immigration in Germany and the US – will result in a second book within this upcoming academic year. We are also expecting half a dozen Siegen professors or graduate students to visit us here in Virginia for the 2019 conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of Africans landing in Anglo-America.

Impressions of Siegen

Siegen was unusually hot during our early June visit, but my colleagues and I truly relished the (human) warmth of our very cordial reception!