In Memoriam

Ernest Lockridge

Ernest Lockridge (1938—2020)


Emeritus Professor Ernest Lockridge taught English at The Ohio State University from 1971 to 1991. During his time at the university, Lockridge founded the Creative Writing program. In the 1984–85 academic year, he was awarded an Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Lockridge, a critically acclaimed writer, is the author of six books, including three novels: Hartspring Blows His MindPrince Elmo's Fire and Flying Elbows. In addition to being an author and scholar, he was an artist, musician and poet.


Elizabeth Jean MacLaughlin

Elizabeth Jean MacLaughlin

Associate Professor

Elizabeth Jean MacLaughlin taught at The Ohio State University in the Department of English from 1976 to 1981. The Center for Folklore Studies did not yet exist, and the discipline was represented only by a small group of invested faculty members. During her time at the university, MacLaughlin was an integral member of the folklore community, an area of scholarship that at the time had yet to gain the deserved respect from academia.


Center for Folklore Studies tribute

John N. King

John N. King (1945–2020)


John N. King was a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus; Humanities Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and of Religious Studies; and senior research fellow of the Rare Book School. He specialized in the English Renaissance, with emphasis on sixteenth-century literature, Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton; Reformation literature, history and art; history of the book; printing history; and manuscript studies.

King is the author of English Reformation Literature: The Tudor Origins of the Protestant Tradition; Tudor Royal Iconography: Literature and Art in an Age of Religious Crisis; Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition; Milton and Religious Controversy: Satire and Polemic in Paradise Lost; Foxe's Book of Martyrs and Early Modern Print Culture; and many essays and reviews. He was the editor of Reformation and co-editor of Literature and History. Also, King was the editor of Anne Askew's Examinations; Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Select Narratives; Voices of the English Reformation: A Source Book; and Tudor Books and Readers: Materiality and the Construction of Meaning. He was the co-editor of The Vocation of John Bale; Henry VIII and His Afterlives: Literature, Politics, and Art; John Foxe and His World; and Sermons at Paul’s Cross, 1521-1642. King received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Bibliographical Society of America, Folger Shakespeare Library, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Henry E. Huntington Library, Lilly Endowment in conjunction with the National Humanities Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, Renaissance Society of America and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a faculty affiliate of Ohio State's Department of Comparative Studies, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Center for the Study of Religion. He directed or co-directed ten National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars for College and University Teachers and one NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers.


Nan Johnson

Nan Johnson (1951–2019)


Nan Johnson specialized in the history of rhetoric, theory of rhetoric and composition theory. She is the author of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric in North America (1991), Gender and Rhetorical Space in American Life: 1866-1910 (2002) and several book chapters, reviews and articles on the history and theory of rhetoric, composition theory and the pedagogy of writing.



Christian Zacher

Christian Zacher (1941–2019)


Christian Zacher is the author of Curiosity and Pilgrimage: The Literature of Discovery in Fourteenth-Century England, "Travel and Geographical Writings" in A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, and of essays and reviews on medieval literature. Also, he was the co-editor of Critical Studies of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Idea of Medieval Literature and the co-general editor of Basic Readings in Chaucer and His Time.


Lee K. Abbott

Lee K. Abbott (1947–2019)


Lee K. Abbott taught creative writing at The Ohio State University from 1989 until his retirement in 2012. During his time in the English department, he founded the MFA Creative Writing Program and was named a Humanities Distinguished Professor. Abbott is the author of numerous essays and short stories published in Harper'sThe Atlantic MonthlyThe New York Times Book Review, Epoch, Boulevard and Crawdaddy, among others; short story collections Dreams of Distant Lives, Strangers in Paradise, Love is the Crooked Thing, The Heart Never Fits its Wanting, Living After Midnight, Wet Places at Noon and All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories; and fiction reprinted in The Best American Short Stories and The Prize Stories: The O'Henry Awards.



Frank O'Hare

Frank O'Hare (1935-2021) 


Dr. Frank O'Hare was a faculty member in the Department of English at Ohio State from 1978 to 2003. O'Hare was highly regarded in the field of Rhetoric and Composition for his work on Sentence Combining, an exercise-based approach to helping high school and college students develop greater diversity and flexibility with written syntax. His book Sentencecraft was widely used in composition classes for many years. 

Dr. O'Hare enjoyed a long tenure directing the First Year Writing program, training hundreds to teach what was then known as Freshman English (Eng. 110). He was the first director of English 367 (now 2367, Second-Level Writing), and he served as Director of the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing in 2000 when its founder took a position at Stanford. 

Born in Glasgow in 1935, O'Hare received his undergraduate degree from the University of Glasgow.  He played professional soccer for the Celtic Football Club in Scotland for several years before coming to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. at Florida State. He launched his professional career serving as head of the English Department at the University of Southern Mississippi.


Julian Markels

Julian Markels (1925-2021)


Julian Markels was a faculty member in the Department of English from 1956 to 1991, serving as chair from 1976 to 1983. He was a much-beloved teacher at all levels, directed the research of scores of graduate students, and developed many new courses, helping to inaugurate, among other things, successful models of team-teaching. Markels published over two dozen major scholarly articles, in areas ranging from Shakespeare, to American literature, to Marxist political discussions, to literary theory. Among his five books are The Marxian Imagination, Melville and the Politics of Identity, and From Buchenwald to Havana: The Life and Opinions of a Socialist Professor. Among many university duties outside the department, he was a member of the Faculty Council and served for seven years on Ohio State's Athletic Council. He was also secretary of the University's first Diversity Enhancement Committee.

In Not Even Past: A History of the Department of English, The Ohio State University, 1870-2000, Murray Beja and Chris Zacher write about Markels in the chapter "The Socialist Professor as Chair." They describe Markels' work leading the department through its first external program review; supporting the growth of courses in critical theory and of the first-year writing program ("my ambition was to make a difference in the daily life where our professional work was grounded, and the study and teaching of writing had always been a big part of this life," Markels wrote in his memoir); and his important role in hiring many prominent members of the department.