We are proud of the prestigious scholars and writers who have taught in the English Department at UB.
Jim Bunn was a member of the UB English Departmentfrom 1969 to 2009. He taught semiotics, 18th-century and romantic literature, utopias, and for the last dozen years or so, environmental literature. From 1981-1984, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters and then for the next three years he was the first Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. During that time he was part of the most sweeping General Education program among public universities. His books include The Dimensionality of Signs, Tools and Models (Indiana University Press), Wave Forms: A Natural Syntax for Rhythmics Languages (Stanford University Press), and The Natural law of Cycles: Governing Mobile Symmetries of Animals and Machines (Transactions Publishers).
Carl Dennis came to the English Department at UB in September, 1966, and stopped teaching in December, 2001. In his own words, “We had a lively department, and in the rapid expansion from a private to a public university were hiring five or six Assistant Professors for six years or so, and so I had a large group my age to choose my friends from. And I will always be grateful to the liberal notions of our Chair, Albert Cook, who established an openness to writers of fiction and poetry, so that I was allowed to move from writing criticism to writing poetry without any friction. And I was lucky enough to be drafted by one of the experimental colleges in the early seventies, Vico College, where I was able to read and teach the Greek and Roman classics, a huge gift to my own work.”
Art Efron taught in the department from 1963 to 2005. For thirty years, he edited and published PAUNCH, a journal of literary criticism - and some poetry. Authors whose work he taught included Cervantes, Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Jorge Luis Borges. He gave repeated attention to the theories of Wayne Burns (his mentor at the U of Washington) , anarchist theory, theory of the novel, the World Hypotheses of Stephen Pepper, Wilhelm Reich, and most basically Art as Experience by John Dewey.
George Hochfield taught in the English Departments at Penn State and Ohio State before coming to UB in 1963, where he taught until 1992. He is the author of a monograph on Henry Adams and editor of Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists, recently republished in a second edition by Yale University Press. Hochfield was visiting professor at Moscow State University, (Spring, 1985) and Capitol Normal University, Beijing, (Fall 1992), and was awarded two Fulbright Lectureships (Bologna and Venice, 1958-59, and Rome, 1980). Since retirement he has translated several works from Italian, including three volumes of prose published by Marlboro/Northwestern, in collaboration with Leonard Nathan Selected Poems of Umberto Saba (Yale University Press, 2008), the poems of Luigi Pirandello, and a novel by Giorgio Chiesura. He currently lives in Berkeley, CA.
Author of more than a dozen books of poetry and literary criticism, Susan Howe's recent collection of poems, That This, published by New Directions won the Bollingen Prize in 2011. Her earlier critical study, My Emily Dickinson, was re-issued in 2007 with an introduction by Eliot Weinberger. Three CDs in collaboration with the musician/composer David Grubbs, Thiefth and Souls of the Labadie Tract, and Frolic Architecture were released on the Blue Chopsticks label (2005; 2011). Howe held the Samuel P. Capen Chair in Poetry and the Humanities at the State University New York at Buffalo until her retirement in 2007. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Howe was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and served as a Chancellor to the Academy of American Poets between 2000-2006. In fall, 2009 she was awarded a Fellowship to the American Academy at Berlin. Recently she was an Artist In Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This fall her word collages were exhibited at the Yale Union in Portland, Oregon,and in the Whitney Biennial 2014. She lives in Guilford, CT.
Claire Kahane, Professor Emerita of English at UB, is also a Research Associate in the Department of English at UC Berkeley, and a graduate member of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. A psychoanalytic and feminist critic, she taught at UB from July 1974 until July 2000. She was a member of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture and taught courses on hysteria and modern narrative as well as on literary representations of holocaust trauma. Currently based in Berkeley, she is working on a book-length study of anticipations of catastrophe in Ian McEwan’s fiction, and--hopefully unrelated--a picaresque memoir entitled Nine Lives.
Irving Massey received his B.A. from McGill University, MA's from both Harvard and Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard. He taught at UB from 1964-1996. He has published many books, including Find You the Virtue: Ethics, Image, and Desire in Literature, The Uncreating Word: Romanticism and the Object, and most recently, The Neural Imagination: Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Approaches to the Arts (University of Texas Press, 2009). He is currently working on a book project entitled Metaphor: A Pentagram.
Max Wickert emigrated from Germany in his teens. He received his Ph.D. from Yale and joined the UB English Department in 1966; he taught chiefly undergraduate courses, notably the “Supersurvey” an intensive survey of English literature, “Dante’s Divine Comedy in Translation”, and Creative Writing: Poetry. In addition to articles on Spenser and on early opera, he has published three books of verse -- All the Weight of the Still Midnight, Pat Sonnets and No Cartoons— and a short novella, “The Scythe of Saturn.” A translator of German poetry, including poems by Georg Trakl and from English to German (Tuli Kupferberg), he shifted to Italian in the 1980s. He retired in 2006 and in 2009, The Liberation of Jerusalem, his verse rendering of Torquato Tasso’s crusader epic Gerusalemme liberata, came out in Oxford UP World’s Classics, and his version of Tasso’s Love Poems for Lucrezia Bendidio in 2011 (Italica Press). He is the founder-director of Buffalo’s Outriders Poetry Project, a reading series and small press, and the editor of An Outriders Anthology: Poetry in Buffalo 1969-1979 and After (2013). For more information see: <http://www.outriderspoetryproject.com/> and <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Wickert>
David Willbern (B.A. Amherst, Ph.D. UC Berkeley) was a member of the UB faculty from 1972 to 2005. He taught courses in Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature, American Best Sellers, and Literature and Psychology. He served as Director of the Center for the Psychological Study of the Arts (later known as the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture), as well as Associate Chair of the English Department, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and founding Director of the Educational Technology Center. He has written two books: Poetic Will: Shakespeare and the Play of Language (1987), and The American Popular Novel After World War II: A Study of 25 Best Sellers, 1947-2000 (2013). He now lives in the New Mexico high desert.
Howard R. Wolf taught full-time for 40 years (1967-2007); three years as an adjunct and (so far) three years in the Discovery Seminars Program where he offers a course on Travel Writing. A graduate of Horace Mann School, Amherst College, Columbia University, and The University of Michigan (Ph.D), he is the author of ten books and three hundred publications in the areas of literary and social criticism, fiction, memoir, education theory and practice, travel, creative nonfiction. He had given one hundred lectures in 20 countries and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey and South Africa. He lectured at Wolfson College, The University of Cambridge, May, 2014. Amherst College Library collects his work.