Legacy of Excellence Lecture
Honoring a professor emeritus
Tribute to outstanding achievement in retirement
The annual Legacy of Excellence Lecture features a professor emeritus who, in retirement, continues to make outstanding contributions to academia, the University, and the community. The WSU Emeritus Society honors the speaker with the Legacy of Excellence Award in recognition of these achievements.
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
Though traditionally held on the Pullman campus, this year the Legacy of Excellence Lecture has been prerecorded for viewing online.
Professor Emeritus Kiessling is an internationally recognized scholar of Medieval and Early Modern literature and culture. Since his retirement in 2000, he has shed new light on the lives and libraries of seventeenth-century antiquarian and biographer Anthony Wood and English writer Robert Burton. Kiessling’s 2002 The Library of Anthony Wood—a catalogue of 6,758 items—won praise as “a monumental and exemplary achievement.” His annotated edition of Wood’s autobiography adds detailed notes and a biography to Wood’s own life accounts. Kiessling’s research opened new perspectives on books printed surreptitiously by Catholics in England from about 1558 to 1800. His essay on the illegal transfer of some 20,000 such books out of England was awarded the UK CILIP’s History Essay Award for 2017.
Since retirement Kiessling has held a visiting appointment at Université de Haute Bretagne, Rennes, France, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar appointment in Casablanca, Morocco.