Scott LaMascus says the quest for meaning is one of the links between his growth as a writer, student of American literature, teacher, scholar and academic leader.
Enriching the central university relationship – between faculty and students – also is a central theme in his role as founding Director of the McBride Center for Public Humanities housed in the English department he chaired for six years. Now being endowed to bring national humanities scholars and symposia to campus each fall, the Center’s premier event is the annual McBride Lecture for Faith & Literature, which has offered free, public symposia with national, prize-winning authors Kathleen Norris, Robert Pinsky, Marilynne Robinson, Charles Kimball, Bill McKibben, Dana Gioia, Alice McDermott, and David Henry Hwang. In 2012, the McBride Center was recognized for quality by the National Endowment for the Humanities and selected for a large Challenge.
LaMascus has published thousands of words of journalism, edited two general interest books, and edited a collection of scholarly essays, as follows. He was a regular columnist for “Inside Story” in The Christian Chronicle and co-edited with Lindy Adams a compilation of scholars’ work in Decades of Destiny. He was selected to serve as guest scholar and mentor for a national, MLA workshop and panel on Marilynne Robinson, which also later appeared as a special volume of Christianity & Literature. His early, national academic presentations and publications included work on the theorist Jacques Derrida, which was carried in Longman anthologies for many editions.
LaMascus is a regular presenter since 1994 at the two largest and most prominent national conferences in his field and has served on review and consultation boards for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Abilene Christian University, and Gardner Webb University. He serves on the board of the Oklahoma Humanities Council. He has served as peer-reviewer for the nation’s leading literary journal, the PMLA, as well as for Oxford University Press. The Conference of Christian Colleges and Universities has recognized LaMascus with its Leadership Development Institute grant for emerging academic leaders.
Born in the 1950s, LaMascus grew up in Kingfisher, County, Oklahoma, surrounded by wheat fields, open skies, and oil batteries. After graduating from Hennessey High School, where he was beneficiary of an unusual, intensive foreign-language program, he attended Oklahoma Christian University and participated in a variety of the university’s summer programs in Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal. In 1989, he left the OC community to complete doctoral studies at the University of Oklahoma and take a tenure-track position at Georgia Southwestern State University. A decade later, he was invited to return to Oklahoma Christian in a faculty and administrative appointment. He now serves Oklahoma Christian as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Scott is married to Dr. Alice Mankin and they have two sons.