Benjamin B. Alexander, Professor, held an interdisciplinary appointment (1992-2018) in the Departments of English and Political Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville (tenured 2008, retired, 2018). He was Chairman of the English Department from 1992-1996. He taught courses spanning a wide range in the fields of literature and political philosophy, including
⦁ American literature from the colonial to modern periods, including African-American literature and Southern literature,
⦁ medieval literature (Dante. Chaucer),
⦁ American political thought and,
⦁ Shakespeare and literature of the European Renaissance.
⦁ He also frequently taught in Franciscan University’s Honors Program of "great books" where he offered seminars in the Renaissance (Shakespeare, Milton, Montaigne, Machiavelli, Metaphysical poets) and modern periods (existential writers and thinkers, James Joyce, William Faulkner. et.al.) He incorporated writers of color (Ralph Ellison) in the seminar on modernism.
He received his undergraduate degree from Sewanee (the Univ. of the South, with Honors) and his M. A. and Ph.D. in literature from the University of Dallas, with political philosophy as a secondary field. Dr. Alexander also held appointments on the faculty at Hillsdale College from 1981 to 1986 where he was tenured (1985). Receiving academic tenure twice is a rare achievement, documenting that two different college faculties awarded lifetime teaching contracts to Dr. Alexander. 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.).
In addition to his academic appointments Dr. Alexander was a speechwriter/ consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education 1991-92. He also served in the communications division of the U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and the United States Information Agency. He also was appointed as a expert jurist and evaluated grants submitted by teachers and scholars to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Essay and term paper writing in the fields of literature, history, philosophy, theology/religion, political science, psychology and sociology. Skills imparted are effective titles, vivid introduction, interesting thesis statement, argumentation, effective citation of research, and sound conclusions. Appropriate language, style, and grammar will be also addressed.
- Fundamentals of literary study such as themes, plot development, understanding vital passages, analyzing characters, scenes, and/or chapters.
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Just wanted to say thank you one last time for the class. I was never really introduced into American Literature before but because of this class have found a new love for American authors and writers especially in O'Connor and Percy.
As I am a senior and will be graduating it seems like we will not have another class together however your knowledge in the material was greatly appreciated. I also wanted to thank you for your openness about this beautiful literature...
NAME / JOB / TITLE
Feb. 20, 1980
Dr. Alexander’s …. preparation for and planning of the African American course deserves special mention….his version of the course includes music, religion, and history as well as the conventional literary readings; he has worked very hard to bring to his students a full understanding of the Black American experience….
Dr. Alexander's music evenings open to all at his home have been praised by the college president [Josiah Bunting].
Chairman, Dept of English
Thank you, Dr. Alexander...
Your classes were instrumental in my decision to go to graduate school. Your Honors seminar during my junior year and your course on Dante were excellent. I remember you teaching the Honors class Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and II, and Henry V. Those lectures and discussions were simply amazing. .. I remember most fondly the course in the Literature of the American South.. . Even though I had read Flannery O’Conner and Walker Percy in high school, I did not realize the scope of southern literature ... Your expertise raised so many questions in my mind that demanded answers... Your courses prepared me well for the reading and writing load in graduate school. I cannot thank you enough for the devotion you displayed to your craft.
Clayton State University