In Memoriam

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  • Richard Poirier
  • Professor Emeritus of English At Rutgers
  • At Rutgers Since: 1963
  • Retired Since: 2002
  • Primary Areas of Specialization: Critical and Literary Theory; Cultural Studies
  • Book(s):
  • Bio: Professor Emeritus Richard Poirier is the author of Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other PerformancesThe Performing Self: Compositions and Decompositions in the Languages of Contemporary Life (1992), and Robert Frost: The Work of Knowing (1977). He was a Professor of Literature for Rutgers University and Chair of the English Department (1963). He was founder of the literary journal Raritan: A Quarterly Review, and the Library of America. But some agree that his most important contribution came in his criticism, which tried to convey why the act of reading is — and should be — so difficult. (1999),
  • Education: PhD, Harvard University MA, Yale University BA, Amherst College

Read more: Poirier, Richard

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  • Cheryl Wall
  • Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English
  • At Rutgers Since: 1972
  • Retired Since: 2020
  • Primary Areas of Specialization: African-American & Diaspora, Gender & Sexuality
  • Book(s):
  • Books (additional):
  • Bio: Professor Wall is the author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition (2005) and Women of the Harlem Renaissance (1995), and the editor of Changing Our Own Words: Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women (1989). She has edited two volumes of writing by Zora Neale Hurston for the Library of America – Novels and Short Stories (1995) and Folklore, Memoirs and Other Writings (1995) – as well as two volumes of criticism on Hurston's fiction: "Sweat": Texts and Contexts (1997) and Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook (2000). She is the section editor for "Literature since 1975" in the Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2003). Professor Wall, a specialist in Black women's writing, the Harlem Renaissance, and Zora Neale Hurston, serves on the editorial board of American Literature and on the advisory boards of African American Review and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. A former chair of the department, Professor Wall remains active in university affairs. In 2003, she was co-principal with Mary Hartman of the Institute for Women's Leadership on "Reaffirming Action: Designs for Diversity in Higher Education." This Ford Foundation-funded initiative examined the strategies higher education institutions successfully employ to enhance racial and gender equity. Most recently, Professor Wall was selected by President McCormick to serve as Vice Chair of the Steering Committee on Implementation, a body organized to enact sweeping changes in undergraduate education at Rutgers. She has just become co-chair, with Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick, of the President's Council on Institutional Diversity and Equity. Professor Wall, who received the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, remains an active teacher. She was named a Board of Governors Professor of English in December 2006, and named the Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English in January 2007.
  • Awards:
    • Policy Makers Award, Executive Women of New Jersey, 2008
    • Human Dignity Award, Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, Rutgers University, 2007
    • The Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research, Rutgers University, 2006
  • Membership Affiliations:
    • Advisory Board, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2005-
    • Advisory Board, African American Review, (formerly Black American Literature Forum), 1989 -
    • Member, College Language Association
    • Member, Zora Neale Hurston Society
  • Other Information of Interest - 2:

    "Carter A. Mathes" - New Faculty Profiles by Cheryl A. Wall (Future Traditions Magazine, Issue 1) 

  • Education: PhD, Harvard University BA, Howard University

In Memorium