Joel Dorius's Papers & Memoirs
About Joel Dorius
Dr. Joel Dorius
Joel Dorius, born in Salt
Lake City, Utah, graduated from the University of Utah in 1940.
During World War II, he taught elementary math to workers at MIT's
Radiation Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. at Harvard University,
where he studied with renowned critic and teacher of literature and
language, I.A. Richards. He assisted Richards for three years in
Harvard's newly-formed curriculum in the General Education program.
He then taught at Yale from 1949-58 and at Smith College as an
associate professor from 1958-60. In 1960, he was caught in a legal
scandal that forced him to leave his school and his country. After
being fired from Smith College, he taught for two years at the
University of Hamburg, Germany. Finally acquitted in 1964, he
returned to the States, where he taught at San Francisco State
University until 1984. Before and after his retirement, he spent his
free time traveling in Italy, writing, and studying his favorite
hobbies—Italian art, architecture, and film. Since 1964, he has
lived in San Francisco on Russian Hill. In 2003, Smith College
finally acknowledged its mistake in having fired him 43 years before
and featured him in a well-publicized conference on civil liberties
at the college called Homeland Insecurity.
Dorius has edited Henry V in the Yale
Shakespeare series (Yale, 1955), Henry IV, Part I
(Prentice-Hall, 1970), three anthologies of essays on Shakespeare,
and a fourth on American and English literature. He has also written
numerous articles and essays on Shakespeare, including "A Little
More than a Little" (Shakespeare Quarterly, Winter, 1960),
"Prudence and Excess in Richard II and the Histories"
(Discussions of Shakespeare's Histories, Heath, 1964),
"Tragedy" (Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Princeton,
1965), the "Introduction" to Henry IV, Part I
(Prentice-Hall, 1970), and "Antony and Cleopatra" (How to Read
Shakespearean Tragedy, Harper and Row, 1978; also published in
Festschrift für Ludwig Borinski, Germany, 1978).