In Memoriam: James Alan McPherson, 1943-2016

McPhersonJames Alan McPherson, professor emeritus at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, died late last month at a hospice facility in Iowa City, after suffering from pneumonia. He was 72 years old.

Professor McPherson was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his short story collection Elbow Room (Little, Brown, 1977). In 1981, he was among the first cohort of MacArthur Scholars.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, McPherson attended Morgan State University in Baltimore but transferred and earned a bachelor’s degree at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He earned a law degree at Harvard and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing at the University of Iowa.

During a long academic career, Professor McPherson taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Morgan State University, and the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1981.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roles in Higher Education

The appointments to diversity positions are Tamara Clegg at the University of Maryland, Andrew Alvez at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and Kendriana Price at the University of Kentucky.

Study Finds Women of Color Author a Disproportionate Share of Banned Books in American Schools

In the 2021-2022 academic year, school and libraries across the country experienced a significant spike in book bans. A new study has found a disproportionate share of these banned books are written by women of color and include characters from diverse backgrounds.

Christopher Davis Appointed President of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis

Dr. Davis was appointed interim president of LeMoyne-Owen College last summer. Over the past year, he has led the college through a rebranding initiative, an increase in athletic programming, and improvements to campus infrastructure.

Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Use of Social Security Disability Insurance

According to the report, Black Americans are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to receive Social Security Disability Insurance, and spend roughly 40 percent more on medical care than White Americans.

Featured Jobs