The School of Arts and Sciences
Full Name: Deborah Prescott
Professor of English
B.A., University of Utah; M.A., University of Utah; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.
Dr. Deborah Lee Prescott’s life-long interest in the Holocaust propelled her research at the doctoral level, resulting in the publication, Imagery from Genesis in Holocaust Memoirs: A Critical Study (McFarland 2010), along with many conference papers, book reviews, and scholarly articles. Most immediately, she anticipates the staging of a play, co-written with PBA Professor Emeritus Don Butler, which is set in Nazi-era Germany. TAKEN AWAY was written for middle grade and high school audiences; it will be performed at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (October 2018) and then will be taken to local schools, with the hope of further interest in its production from other schools around the state and the nation.
At PBA, in addition to such liberal arts courses as Composition II and Humanities III, Dr. Prescott teaches a wide range of literature classes. Her specialty is 20th century British and American literature, and from time to time she teaches Holocaust literature. She studied film at the graduate level at UCLA, so she enjoys incorporating film into her classes, as well as her class examining cinematic adaptations of world literature.
In recent years, Dr. Prescott has written children’s picture books that feature her blind rescue dog Mitzvah. The first book of the series, A Dog Named Mitzvah (A Very True Story), has been published in English as well as bilingual editions in French, Italian, and Spanish (Taylor and Seale, 2016). Translated but not yet published are editions in Hebrew and Portuguese. The second book of the trilogy, Mitzvah Gets Scared (Taylor and Seale, 2017), was published last year, and later this year, Prescott expects the publication of the third book, Mazel Tov, Mitzvah! The Mitzvah series encourages children to be compassionate and accepting of others with disabilities. Prescott has several other children’s picture books in various stages of development.
Prescott’s interest in literature and history compels her to travel when school is not in session; she was delighted when she was chosen to lead the PBA Study Abroad Program in London in 2015. She has visited many countries around the world; with her interest in World War II in general, and the Holocaust in particular, she has found it personally and professionally productive to visit countries associated with those events. Moreover, she and Professor Butler are working are on their second play, which explores ramifications of Nazi science, this time with an intended adult audience. Prescott has been involved with scholarly activities hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was active with the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews.