CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558
UI's Folsom named F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of English
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ed Folsom has been named the F. Wendell Miller Distinguished
Professor of English at the University of Iowa. The appointment, effective
July 1, was announced this week by Judith Aikin, dean of the UI College
of Liberal Arts.
Folsom has been called the nation's leading scholar on the works of
American poet Walt Whitman, but Aikin also praised his commitment to teaching
and service. "As a teacher, Professor Folsom is one of the best the
College of Liberal Arts has to offer," she said. "He is also
generous in service, the most notable of which was his four years as department
chair, a period when the department was strongly enhancing its national
The winner of a Regents Faculty Excellence Award in 1996, Folsom has
taught courses at all levels, from introductory general education courses
to doctoral seminars. He has directed 16 doctoral dissertations and served
on 50 doctoral dissertation committees. In 1996, he was a Fulbright professor
at the University of Dortmund in Germany.
He is the author of one book on Whitman, "Native Representations"
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) and the editor of five collections
of essays. He is also editor of the "Walt Whitman Quarterly Review"
and has published 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters as
well as many scholarly notes and encyclopedia articles. More recently,
he has been involved in electronic publishing ventures, including "The
Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive," a project affiliated with the Center
for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia.
Folsom also has given invited lectures and Fulbright lectures in China,
Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, England, Austria and
Sweden. In 1992, the centennial of Whitman's death, Folsom established
a Whitman conference and centennial project, attracting $110,000 in grant
The awardee earned his bachelor's degree in English from Ohio Wesleyan
University in 1969 and both a master's degree in English (1972) and a doctorate
in English and American Literature (1976) from the University of Rochester.
He joined the UI faculty in 1976 and was promoted to professor in 1987.
He served as department chair from 1991 to 1995.
Folsom is the fifth member of the UI faculty to be named an F. Wendell
Miller Distinguished Professor. The appointments were made possible through
the Miller Endowment Trust. F. Wendell Miller, a Rockwell City attorney
and farm manager who died in March 1996 at the age of 97, left a will calling
for creation of the trust to support scholarships, faculty development,
concerts, lectures and other academic activities at the UI and Iowa State
University. Income from the trust is to be split evenly between the two
The first four Miller professorships, announced in May 1996, were awarded
to Michael Lewis-Beck, professor of political science; Chunghi Choo, professor
of art; Hans Breder, professor of art; and June Helm, professor of anthropology.