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KNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee English professor, known for his extensive research on Knoxville-born author James Agee, has been elected to a leadership role in the International Federation of Modern Languages and Literature (FILLM).

Michael Lofaro

Dr. Michael A. Lofaro will serve as assistant secretary general for FILLM–known by its acronym from the formal French title Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes International –which is the official international organization for scholarly study of modern languages and literature. FILLM is an umbrella organization for 18 of the world-s major language and literature organizations and is linked to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In his new role, Lofaro will coordinate grants among FILLM-s member agencies and work with UNESCO to distribute money to faculty from under-funded countries and universities for academic conferences and presentations.

-I am honored to be elected to FILLM,- said Lofaro. -I believe in the cultural importance of the study of language and literature sponsored by the group and its role in fostering international understanding. I am proud to say UT also has embraced this mission.-

In his 33 years at UT, Lofaro has written or edited nine books ranging in subject from James Agee to Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. He has received more than 40 fellowships, grants and awards including, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Governor-s Award for Literary Achievement. Lofaro also has been a senior Fulbright lecturer at the University of Vienna, a consultant for -National Geographic- and has appeared on -The History Channel- and NBC-s -Today- show. He served as chair of UT-s James Agee Celebration in 2005.

Beth Gladden (865 974-9008,