For Robert Butler, PhD, professor of English, scholarship in the area of African American literature represents a lifelong passion. His expertise is recognized by the African American Review, which regularly requests his assistance in reviewing books. His recent book reviews include Michael Nieto Garcia’s Autobiography in Black and Brown: Ethnic Identity in Richard Wright and Richard Rodriguez, Douglas Field’s All Those Strangers: The Art and Lives of James Baldwin, and Steven Tracy’s Hot Music, Ragmentation, and the Bluing of American Literature.
In addition, he is an active scholar in his own right. He has two articles appearing in the book Richard Wright: Writing America at Home and from Abroad edited by Virginia Whatley Smith. Dr. Butler’s first article explores how Wright portrays women in his fiction and the second examines how a posthumously published novel, A Father’s Law, artfully alludes to and transforms the meaning of Wright’s first novel, Native Son.
Dr. Butler also recently published an article in Ralph Ellison in the Twenty-first Century. Dr. Butler’s contribution focuses on how Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man is rooted in the values of the Civil Rights Movement. These works are the most recent examples of Dr. Butler’s 50-year enthusiasm for his scholarship.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, associate vice president, academic affairs