Sean O'Sullivan (1965-2023)
Sean O’Sullivan joined the department as an assistant professor in 2006 and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. His interests and expertise in narrative, especially serial narrative across media; television and film studies; the British novel; and fiction and the visual arts were deep, broad, and energizing. His publications included a book on the contemporary realist British director Mike Leigh as well as articles and chapters in edited collections on such topics as The Sopranos and episodic storytelling; modernist structure in Mad Men; poetic design and the serial season; the afterlives of Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Decalogue; Deadwood and third seasons; apocalyptic television in Margaret Thatcher's Britain; the limits of satisfaction in Dickens, Eliot and contemporary serials; and the showrunner Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage and Fanny and Alexander. In the department, Sean chaired the lectures and events committee for several years, directed Project Narrative from 2014-2016, served on the executive, undergraduate, and graduate studies committees, and co-convened the film and popular culture area group. At Ohio State, he served on the Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate, the Ohio State University Press Editorial Board, and the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Selection committee. He was also a core member of the interdisciplinary Film Studies Program that is now located within the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts. Sean was a dedicated teacher, and students in his classes regularly described them as fun, enjoyable, welcoming, and collaborative.
William J. Sullivan (1938–2022)
Bill dedicated more than 40 years of service and commitment to both The Ohio State University Lima campus and the arts in Lima/Allen County through academic leadership and community service. He joined the English department in 1971. In 1978 he was promoted to associate professor and served as department coordinator. Consequently, he became assistant dean and served until 2001. After his retirement in 2003 and until 2012, Bill continued to teach courses at Ohio State. In 2014 he received the university's Lima's Violet I. Meek Town and Gown Award, for ardent supporters and promoters of community growth and interaction between the university and the communities it serves.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Jean MacLaughlin
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.
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.
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 Mind, Prince Elmo's Fire and Flying Elbows. In addition to being an author and scholar, he was an artist, musician and poet.
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 (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 (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's, The Atlantic Monthly, The 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.
Dan Barnes (1940–2016)
Emeritus professor of both English and Folklore, taught in the department from 1967–1995. He also taught a very popular class on jokes—and was himself a very funny man. In 2014, the Center for Folklore Studies created the Daniel R. Barnes Prize, which is given annually to the year's best folklore paper by an OSU undergraduate. Dan was also a terrific pianist.
Jon Erickson (1951–2016)
Jon Erickson was hired as an Assistant Professor of English in 1990 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996. Jon was author of The Fate of the Object: From Modern Object to Postmodern Sign in Performance, Art, and Poetry (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1995) as well as numerous published articles in journals and edited volumes on theatre, performance theory, spectatorship, politics and ethics, drama and art. He taught courses and conducted research concentrating on philosophy and literature, aesthetics and ethics, the phenomenology and reception of performance, the performance of subjectivity, modern/postmodern drama and fiction, tragedy and the tragic, Samuel Beckett, theatre and cinema, critical theory and political philosophy, visual and conceptual art.
Marlene Longenecker (1945-2014)
Marlene Longenecker joined the Department of English in 1972 as an assistant professor and retired as associate professor emerita in 2008. She was a scholar of British Romanticism and feminist studies who tirelessly and generously shared her expertise with countless students and colleagues. Her commitment to and impact as a teacher led to her receiving the university’s prestigious Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching twice, in 1978 and 1989. Professor Longenecker served as the Director of the Center for Women’s Studies—the precursor of the current Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies—from 1980-1986 and during that time planned and hosted the 1983 National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Columbus. She also chaired that organization from 1989-1991. She also held many leadership positions in the Department of English, including Acting Chair, Vice Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and course scheduler. Beyond the department, she made significant contributions to the Council on Student Affairs, the University Senate, the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, the Faculty Council, and the College of Humanities Curriculum Committee. At the time of her retirement, the Department of English created the Marlene B. Longenecker English Faculty Leadership and Teaching Award, with Longenecker as the award’s first recipient. The Longenecker Award continues to honor faculty members who embody some of the same characteristics of generosity, service, and citizenship that Marlene Longenecker demonstrated throughout her career.