Department of English

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza Earns Piper Award for Teaching Excellence

Mon, June 30, 2008

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation has honored Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, associate professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, with the 2008 Piper Professor Award for teaching excellence.

Richmond-Garza is one of 15 recipients of the Piper Professorship awarded by the San Antonio-based foundation. Since 1958, the $5,000 award has been given annually to professors for outstanding academic, scientific and scholarly achievement, and for dedication to the teaching profession.

“Elizabeth’s commitment to teaching is extraordinary, and her generosity towards students has no equal,” said Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, chair of the Department of English. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty. She prepares superb multi-media presentations for all her classes, confers regularly with individual students, and makes meticulous and helpful comments on their essays; she is also ready to give extra-curricular talks and brown-bag lunches. Her teaching evaluations are spectacular.”

Richmond-Garza, who was inducted into the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2004, has also earned the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship and the Chad Oliver Plan II Excellence in Teaching Award.  She teaches the Core Curriculum course “Masterworks of World Literature,” as well as numerous specialized courses including “The Vampire in Imperial Culture,” “Art of the Uncanny” and “Europe in 1900.”
In addition to teaching, Richmond-Garza directs the Program in Comparative Literature at the university. She has worked as a professional translator and speaks French, German, Italian and Russian. She also has reading and writing skills in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese.
The distinguished teaching professor is the author of “Forgotten Cites/Sights: Interpretation and the Power of Classical Citation in Renaissance English Tragedy,” and has written several scholarly articles on comparative literature issues, vampires, and Oscar Wilde.

Richmond-Garza earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and classics at the University of California at Berkeley, a master's in philosophy at Oxford University and a master’s and doctorate in English at Columbia University.

To learn more, read the feature story “Time Travelers” at

Time Travelers 

To view a list of previous faculty recipients of the Piper Award, visit

Piper Award


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