More About the Author
Robert Scholes was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929. His mother was one of five Brooklyn girls orphaned by the influenza epidemic, raised by the oldest sister, with the help of the Catholic Church. Her parents were Italian immigrants to the U. S. Robert's father (Ted Scholes) was from Philadelphia, of English and Irish background. The name (pronounced skoles) comes from Yorkshire.
Robert went to public schools in Forest Hills, Queens and then, from the fourth grade through High School in Garden City, on Long Island, New York. He graduated from Yale in 1950 and spent several years on active duty with the U. S. Navy, after attending Officer's Candidate School in Newport, RI. He served in the U. S. S. Helena, a heavy cruiser, which was involved in combat during the Korean War, making two extended cruises to the Pacific and bring newly elected President Eisenhower from Guam to Hawaii in 1952. Serving as a gunnery officer, Scholes lost some hearing during this period. After the Korean war, he spent a year in the Philadelphia Navy Yard,helping with the overhaul of destroyers. During his time on active duty his first wife, Joan, had two children, Christine and Peter.
In 1955 he entered graduate school at Cornell on the G. I. Bill, getting his MA in 1956 and PhD in 1959. His dissertation was a catalogue of the newly acquired papers of James Joyce in the Cornell Library. His first academic job was as an Instructor at the U. of Virginia, where he was promoted to Assistant Professor after two years. At the U. of Virginia William Faulkner came to his class when he taught one of Faulkner's novels.
In 1964 he became an Associate Professor at the U. of Iowa, where he was made a Professor in 1966. In 1970 he moved to Brown, where he has been ever since. In the spring of 1971 his first wife died of cancer. In 1972 he married Jo Ann Putnam and acquired four more children: Cynthia, Rick, Greg, and Mike.
During his career he has been author, co-author, or editor of more than thirty books, and has served as President of the Semiotic Society of America and of the Modern Language Association. His books range from literary theory and modernist studies to matters of the class room and the curriculum. He helped to found the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown, and, in 1995 he began the Modernist Journals Project, which provides digital editions of modern periodicals for use by scholars, teachers, and students. In 1999 he retired from full-time teaching and became an unpaid Research Professor of Modern Culture and Media, as well as a Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature.