Dr. Jack Hart-Spring 2017 Spotlight on Faculty Success

Jack HartHow did you choose a career in your discipline (History, English, Music, etc.)?  

I was a history major at first, but I switched because English majors were smarter and more interesting! Also, I liked literature

Where did you get your college degrees?

My B.A. , M.A., and Ph.D. are all from Ohio University.

What’s your favorite memory of your career as a student?

My favorite memory is of Professor Stevenson’s marvelous ability to harass his students. He sent his grades after the semester was over. A student wanted her grade early, so he gave her an envelope to address and told her to get a quarter and go buy a stamp. When she returned with the stamped and addressed envelope, he wrote her grade on the back of the envelope and told her to mail it to herself. 

My scariest memory was studying in Ewing Hall, and it had not been renovated for years. Walking down the creaking floored halls made a lot of noise. I was terrified that an old bearded professor would come out in the hall and grab me by the scruff of the neck and accost me for interrupting his lecture!

What are your research or professional interests? What are you working on now?
I’m in Taming of the Shrew this semester, and I’ve been editing Ship of Fools for years. Periodically, I get inspired and write poems, although I’m not working on any currently. I have published over 160 poems and six plays in my career.

What was your first “big break”? 

I don’t know about a big break, but I’ve been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for Poetry three times, and won the Muriel Craft Bailey prize once.  

What are some of your most recent professional achievements? 

I’m quite proud of my last play “Hide the Horses”. It’s a framework for story-telling about Morgan’s Raid, which was a suggestion by our colleague Greg Miller. I thought it was a horrible idea at first, but it worked out really well, and opened to a capacity crowd in Jackson.  

When did you start teaching at Rio?  1970

What is your favorite course to teach at Rio…and why?

I really enjoy the Selected Topics courses. In the past I’ve taught courses on a wide variety of subjects, such as Fantasy, Viking Literature, Turn of the 20th Century Literature, the Victorian Novel, and courses about specific authors, like Faulkner and Fitzgerald. 

What’s the best part of teaching? 

Interacting with students. 

What’s the worst? 

Grading all the papers at the end of the semester!    

If you could spend the day with any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be? 

Homer (not Simpson!), or perhaps Samuel Johnson

What is your favorite book:  There are so many! Sone of my favorites are the Iliad, David Copperfield, Hisotry of the Pelloponesian War. and the Cantebury Tales

Favorite artist: Hieronymus Bosch

Favorite musician: Hank Williams, Sr.

Favorite movie: The Last Picture Show

Favorite food: Spaghetti, no meatballs

If you could move anywhere, where would you go?  Maybe Tuscany, Italy. It has nice scenery and weather.

Favorite quote: “I would prefer not to”, from Bartleby the Scrivener, by Herman Melville

If you couldn’t have a career in your discipline, what would you do for a living? 

I would be a history professor.

What are your hobbies (outside your professional activity)? 

Farming (cattle), reading and writing.

Do you share your home with family or pets? 

Yes, family and pets.

What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you?  I hope they don’t know I’m 74! 

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