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Douglas Mantz, Northrop Frye leader in Moncton and founder of the Oxford Study Programme, recently celebrated his 75th birthday!
Dr. Mantz, Professor Emeritus of Crandall University was founding co-chair of the Frye Festival which today is the crown jewel among Canadian bilingual literary festivals. Mantz is one of Canada’s “small Fryes” — former students of Northrop Frye who teach or celebrate the words of their great master.
“Northrop Frye was the greatest mind ever to come out of Atlantic Christianity,” says Mantz. “And that’s always worth remembering and celebrating.”
With written permission and encouragement from the great Northrop Frye himself, Mantz founded the Northrop Frye Society, which originated as an enrichment group for students studying at Crandall University. The Frye Society continues to celebrate Frye with charitable work today.
Furthermore, twenty-four years ago, Professor Mantz designed and founded an ongoing, a program for top Canadian Christian students to spend a semester at Oxford University. Stanford University presented Mantz’s with an educational design award for his work on this program.
“The Oxford experience is a dream come true for me, and for the students,” says Mantz. “Partly supported by scholarships, the Oxford Programme has made a session at one of the world’s great universities possible as a capstone educational experience for hundreds of students.”
Oxford students have come from Crandall, Mount Allison, Acadia, U de Moncton, Trinity Western, and other universities across North America and Australia.
When teaching at Mount Alison University, Dr. Mantz led a major research project to study landscape in Canadian poetry by computer-assisted comparison across decades and regions. He also led the first-ever Son et Lumiere, a summer entertainment celebrating the history of Mount Allison University, Fort Beausejour, and Keillor House (Dorchester). He also developed the teaching of traditional Canadian folksongs from the Mary Mellish collection as part of introductory Canadian literature for St. Mary’s University (Halifax).
Mantz has written two books of humour and contributed commentaries, both serious and comic, for CBC Radio. His CD “Let There Be Laughter”, together with his book of the same name, became a best-seller in the nineties. He has also written a light-hearted, popular history book of Crandall University.
His most recent publication is a study guide on traditional and modern landscape mindfulness, titled “The Pelikan Way.” The book explains how modern people can think in a long-proven, empowering, free and expansive way—potentially both exciting, healthful and mind-strengthening for us today.
Dr. Mantz is currently working on an explanatory commentary on key aspects of Jane Austen’s novels: “Jane Austen Afterwords.” “Jane Austen is justly reputed to be the most popular novelist in the English language today. Her readers deserve all the help available to better understand and appreciate her work.”
Mantz would be remembered by many as a musician, organist, choir leader, and music director in churches of various denominations in the Moncton and Sackville area.