Dr. Brian Donovan


Office/Department: English

Location: Hagg-Sauer Hall 374

Phone: (218) 755-2838

Box #: 23

Email: bdonovan@bemidjistate.edu

Website: website

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Brian is our resident Philhellene, a lover of Greece and much that is Greek, notably including the ancient language.

He earned his baccalaureate degree from Amherst College (in Massachusetts) and his doctorate from the University at Albany (New York), both in English, with studies at the University of Sussex and the University of Iowa along the way. He has taught with the department since 1990, moving to Bemidji from his native upstate New York to take the position.

His scholarly specialty is ancient Greek rhetoric, on which subject he has published articles in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Educational Theory, and The American Journal of Philology. His teaching repertoire includes Shakespeare (to which he brings an actor’s perspective) and other British and European and World literature; rhetorical theory, at the graduate level; and courses in the Honors and Philosophy programs.

Like almost all English faculty he also teaches first-year writing, which itself is essentially rhetoric, and he mentors the department’s teaching graduate assistants who also share in that teaching. His favorite aspect of teaching at BSU is the opportunity to subvert the class system of the United States of America. During his years at BSU he has taken two full-year sabbaticals, both spent (you guessed it!) in Greece, using some of the excellent library collections there for his research—most recently on the rhetorician Isocrates, Plato’s great rival in the field of higher education in fourth-century-B.C. Athens. (Photo-illustrated memoirs of both sabbaticals are on Brian’s Web site.) Other avocations include acting (especially in Shakespeare and Gilbert & Sullivan), cycling, and scuba diving.


State University of New York