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

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs