Dr. Duban will offer winning samples of application essays, including writing from several fields of study, to drive home the clarity, conciseness, cogency, and authority that inhere in all superb applications.
James Duban is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Research and National Scholarship in TAMS and the Honors College at the University of North Texas. He has authored books on Herman Melville and the Henry James Family, with articles appearing in a host of scholarly journals, including The Harvard Theological Review, The Harvard Library Bulletin, Philosophy and Literature, Literature and Theology, Papers on Language and Literature, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and Philological Quarterly, among others. For the past decade, Dr. Duban has focused his research and writing on the influences of Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger on the works of Philip Roth. He is fond of saying that, whether in the humanities or in STEM enterprises, compelling research contributes new knowledge to one’s field of investigation. That precept informs Dr. Duban’s strategy of coaching students for scholarship, fellowship, and grant competitions.
In his capacity as director of the UNT Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, Dr. Duban, for over twenty-five years, has guided numerous UNT students to success in U.S. and international scholarship and fellowship competitions. He has done so by making both undergraduates and graduate students more attentive to the way they narrate their voyages of discovery. When doing so, he has helped them—always in consultation with their research mentors—articulate the process of thinking involved in their “enquiry.” Dr. Duban thus believes that essays for national-scholarship competition cast students in the roles of intellectual autobiographers who need to engage, and occasionally mesmerize, their various audiences. His instruction has led a good number of UNT students to excel in NSF, Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, Truman, Rotary, PEO Peace, and Rotary Scholarship competition, among many other venues of funding. He has also guided a recent UNT alumnus through the Hertz Fellowship competition in the STEM disciplines.