top of page

"Hold the mirror up to nature"

           Benjamin B. Alexander, Professor, held an interdisciplinary appointment (1992-2018) in English and Political Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville (tenured 2008, retired, 2018; he also was tenured in 1985 at Hillsdale College). He chaired the English Department at Franciscan from 1992-1996. He taught courses spanning a wide range in the fields of literature and political philosophy, including Dante,  Shakespeare, as well as the American masters: Melville, Faulkner, O'Connor and the "American Shakespeare," August Wilson. 
            He also frequently taught in Franciscan University’s Honors Program of "great books" where he offered seminars in the Renaissance (Shakespeare, Milton, Machiavelli, Metaphysical poets) and modern periods (existential writers and thinkers, (James Joyce, William Faulkner.  He incorporated writers of color (Ralph Ellison) in the seminar on modernism.

            He received his undergraduate degree (with Honors) from Sewanee (the Univ. of the South) where he studied Shakespeare with Charles T. Harrison, a student of George Lyman Kittridge of Harvard. He also studied Faulkner with acclaimed teacher, raconteur, and writer, Andrew Lytle, one of the original Southern agrarians. Dr. Alexander received his

M. A. and Ph.D. in literature from the University of Dallas, with political philosophy as a secondary field.  He studied with famed teacher, Louise Cowan and political historian, M.E. Bradford.  He also had courses with  students of the famed political theorist, Leo Strauss, including Allan Bloom, author of the seminal The Closing of the American Mind.

            Dr. Alexander has held faculty appointments at Hillsdale College from 1981 to 1986. He also has taught at 

  •   Hampden-Sydney College, 

   ⦁    George Mason University, 
   ⦁    Catholic University of America, 
   ⦁    Washington College (Maryland),
   ⦁    Marymount University (Virginia), and
   ⦁    Augusta State (Ga.)


          Dr. Alexander is editor of the acclaimed Good Things Out of Nazareth: Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Friends (Random House, 2019).  The collection features the letters of O'Connor, as well as those of her friends, Walker Percy, Katherine Anne Porter, and other luminaries.  

            In addition to his academic career, Dr. Alexander was a speechwriter/ consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education (1991-92), specializing in accreditation standards,  parental rights, and school choice. He also served in the communications division of HHS and USIA. He was assigned by USIA to observe the Gorbachev-Bush summit in 1990 and was in close proximity of the Soviet General Secretary and his KGB entourage. The scenario was Shakesperean. He has served as an expert jurist for the National Endowment for the Humanities where he evaluated grants for agency funding.    

Readings in the Great Writers: Faulkner, Ellison, Morrison, O'Connor, Hemingway, et. al.

bottom of page