Dr. Ronald Dorris

Professor of English
Ph.D., Emory University, 1979
M.A., St. John's College, NM, 1979
M.A., Boston University, 1973
B.A., Xavier Univeristy of Louisiana, 1972

Specialties: Cultural and Intellectual History of the 1920s, African American Studies, Harlem Renaissance and Lost Generation Writers, Autobiography and Biography

Having matriculated in a dual degree in English and History at Xavier, I completed all of my graduate degrees in interdisciplinary studies and with literature as a foundation. I continue to reflect on having grown up in Garyville, a small sugar cane town that borders the east bank of the Mississippi River, thirty-five miles west of New Orleans. I firmly embrace the concept of living out time and place, not simply occupying space. Thus I have never wanted my life to be divorced from my work. My Ph.D. dissertation is on Cane, a book written by Jean Toomer, grandson of P.B.S. Pinchback. For the Ph.D. in American Studies with an emphasis in cultural and intellectual studies—the impact of ideas on life, I studied works as social commentary in various genre of literature complemented by my study of history as an angle of consistency. My major concentration centered on the culture and history of the 1920s, particularly emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance Movement. For the M.A. in Liberal Education with a Great Books program as foundation, I matriculated in work in literature, politics and society, philosophy and theology, and transferred credits in anthropology and education. For the M.A. in African American Studies, I engaged work in African and African American literature, sociology, psychology, and undertook an inner city practicum in the African American community of Boston, and an observation study in Monrovia, Liberia. My interdisciplinary studies degrees enable me to teach in a respective department of English, history, philosophy, American Studies, African American Studies, and Humanities. At the University of Notre Dame, I was a professor of American Studies in that department. At the University of Nebraska-Omaha, I was a professor of Humanities in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service. At additional universities, I have served, by choice and university agreement and based on qualification, as a professor in a department of English. My scholarly works have been published in Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Ronald Dorris is the author of Cane: Jean Toomer's Swan Song (1997). rodorris@xula.edu.