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Rutgers-Newark Honors Author/Scholar H. Bruce Franklin
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(Newark, N.J., April 26, 2007) -- H. Bruce Franklin was a factory worker, deck hand on a tugboat and a navigator and intelligence officer in the Strategic Air Command before finding his niche as a college professor, author and cultural historian. Since then Franklin has researched, written about and lectured on such far-ranging topics as the writings of Herman Melville, the history and literature of the Vietnam war, science fiction, the writings of prison inmates and most recently, the threat of overfishing the most important fish in the sea, menhaden.
Franklins decades of work have established him as an internationally recognized interdisciplinary expert in several fields and led to his selection as the 2006/2007 Provosts Distinguished Research Scholar at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in Newark. His award will be bestowed by Steven J. Diner, provost of Rutgers-Newark, during program and reception on campus on Oct. 18, 2007.
Franklin, a resident of Montclair, N.J., is the John Cotton Dana Professor of American Studies at Rutgers-Newark, where he has taught American literature, science fiction and American studies since 1975. He will present a lecture on his research during the fall program. The public will be welcome to attend the award presentation, talk, and reception, which are free of charge.
Franklin also will receive an honorarium of $5,000.
The Provosts Distinguished Research Award honors professors who have done exceptional scholarly work on a subject of fundamental intellectual importance, according to Diner. Another requirement is that recipients demonstrate the ability to speak about their research, no matter how technical it might be, in terms understandable to a broad general audience.
Upon learning of his award, Franklin noted, Given the host of eminent and wonderful scholars at Rutgers-Newark, it is indeed quite thrilling to have been chosen for the Provost's Distinguished Research Award.
In addition to this R-N honor, Franklin also will be recognized by the American Studies Association at its next annual convention. The ASA will hold a special session devoted to Franklin's lifetime achievements. Three past presidents of the American Studies Association and others will discuss different aspects of his work.
Franklin is author or editor of hundreds of articles and reviews that have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Science, Discover, Atlantic Monthly, and The Nation. He also is the author or editor of 19 books, including The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America, published this month by Island Press.(For information, go to franklin) Some of his other books include:
Vietnam and Other American Fantasies. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000
Prison Writing In 20th-Century America. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
The Vietnam War in American Stories, Songs, and Poems. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1996.
War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination; New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Paperback edition, 1990
M.I.A. Or Mythmaking in America. New York: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1992. Revised and expanded edition (paperback), New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1993.
Franklins first book, The Wake of the Gods: Melvilles Mythology, has been continuously in print since 1963 and is used in many college courses. Franklin pioneered the academic study of science fiction, teaching one of the nations first university courses in science fiction in 1961 while teaching at Stanford, and has written extensively on the subject. In 1991 Franklin was the guest curator for the National Air and Space Museums exhibition, Star Trek and the Sixties, which became the most popular show in the museums history.
The Brooklyn native worked as a batch worker in a photofinishing company, an upholsterer and foreman in a manufacturing company, and a tugboat deckhand and mate before serving in the U.S. Strategic Air Command as a navigator and intelligence officer from 1956-1959. In 1966, in protest against the Vietnam War, he resigned his commission as a captain in the US Air Force Reserves.
Franklin earned his BA from Amherst College in 1955 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1961.