Robert Butler, PhD Professor

Robert Butler, PhD

Office: Tower 904
Phone: 888-2658 

Office Hours: MWF 1-3 and TR 12:30-2:30

Robert Butler, PhD, who directed the Honors Program for 21 years, received his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. His teaching interests include modern American literature, especially realism and naturalism, African-American literature and culture, 19th-century Russian literature, and such authors as Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Theodore Dresier, James T. Farrell, and Toni Morrison. Butler is the author or coauthor of seven books. He is a past recipient of the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr. Butler's book The Richard Wright Encyclopedia, co-authored with Jerry Ward of Dillard University, appeared in 2008 with Greenwood Press. Dr. Butler's recent publications include "Richard Wright and the South Side Writers' Group" inWriters of the Black Chicago Renaissance, edited by Steven Tracy (University of Illinois Press) and "Richard Wright's Political Vision" in Richard Wright in the Twenty-First Century edited by William Dow (Palgrave/Macmillan Press). "Richard Wright's Use of his Southern Religious Background in Black Boy/American Hunger" just appeared in Literature and Belief and "Richard Wright's 'Between the World and Me' and the Chapel Scene in Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage: A Literary Relationship" will appear in the fall 2011 issue of College Language Association Journal. In June 2008, Dr. Butler chaired a panel and delivered a paper at the Richard Wright Centennial Conference in Paris. He also chaired a session on Wright's poetry at the CLA Convention in South Carolina in April 2011.

In 2010, Dr. Butler was inducted into the St. Michael's College Academic Hall of Fame.

Dr. Butler's teaching interests include modern American literature, especially realism and naturalism, African-American literature and culture, 19th-century Russian literature, and such authors as Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Theodore Dresier, James T. Farrell, and Toni Morrison.

He is the inaugural recipient of the 2008 Honors Professor of the Year Award. The award recognizes a professor who has made exceptional contributions to the Canisius All-College Honors Program in teaching, scholarship and/or service.


  • Post WWII American Culture