When Dr. Kevin Radaker, professor of English and chair of the English department, performs his portrayal of C.S. Lewis, many audience members feel as though they are watching Lewis himself give a speech. The Anderson University community has received several visits from Radaker's Lewis, and now China will get a visit from the famous author. Radaker will portray Lewis at the 2011 Teachers’ Conference in Beijing, China.
The Teachers’ Conference is an annual event held in Beijing and organized by International Schools of China. The ISC stations American teachers at six schools throughout the country. The educators model American curricula, teaching a variety of subjects. Students at these schools are generally the children of American citizens living in China; however, some native Chinese students attend these schools to acquire a stronger understanding of the English language. The educators from these six schools will attend the conference in October.
Radaker recently presented his Lewis portrayal at the public library in Warsaw, Ind., and an ISC recruiter noticed a poster promoting the event while visiting a local university. “He was intrigued by my show as something that might fit in well with the overall theme for the 2011 ISC Teachers’ Conference,” said Radaker, who also performs as author Henry David Thoreau. “After I learned about the conference and the role I would play while there, I enthusiastically accepted his invitation for me to be one of the keynote speakers.
“I am especially hopeful that [the attendees] will consider the pedagogical value of the teacher or the student developing a dramatic first-person characterization of an author or historical figure,” Radaker continued. “Few enterprises hold so much potential for creating a powerful and memorable teaching and learning experience.”
Other members of the AU community speak highly of in his dramatic portrayal of the author. “Dr. Radaker speaks often and passionately about both Lewis and Thoreau,” said Nicole Shenefield, a sophomore language arts education major. “While many see both of these authors as old-fashioned, Dr. Radaker is able to look at their works and find relevance and inspiration.”
Aside from his Lewis presentation, Radaker will also conduct five teacher workshops during the conference. These sessions address a variety of topics pertaining to Radaker’s portrayal of Lewis, such as the importance of developing a first-person dramatic presentation. Radaker obtained the necessary research for this presentation with the assistance of a grant awarded by the AU faculty development committee.
“Dr. Radaker is an individual who takes his scholarship very seriously,” said Dr. Marie Morris, vice president for academic affairs and dean. “He devoted a tremendous amount of time towards reading, researching, and putting together his own presentation based on the work of Lewis.”
Radaker feels well prepared for his appearance in China and for his role as a representative of Anderson Unviersity. “I am greatly thrilled and honored that I will be traveling to Beijing,” he said. “I have become very comfortable acting as a sort of ambassador for Anderson University.”
Radaker lives with his wife, Linda, and sons, Paul and Luke. For more information on his C.S. Lewis portrayal, please visit www.cslewislive.com.
— Eva Christine McKnight is a junior from Batesville, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in dance performance and English. McKnight is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.