University of Scranton Professor Named President of MELUS

Jul 7, 2015
Joseph Kraus, Ph.D.
Joseph Kraus, Ph.D.

Joe Kraus, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Honors Program at The University of Scranton, has been elected president of the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic American Literature (MELUS).

Dr. Kraus joined the faculty of the Department of English and Theatre at The University of Scranton in 2004. Since 2009, he has served as director of the University’s Honors Program, a Program of Excellence at Scranton that stresses independent work and provides a framework for students to work one-on-one with professors.

Dr. Kraus’s numerous articles in academic and literary journals include “Imagination and the Humanities in Honors Across the Disciplines at a Jesuit University,” published in the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and “On The Threshold: Situating the Critic in Recent Studies of Ethnic American Literature,” published in the Journal of American Ethnic History. He also co-authored “An Accidental Anarchist: How the Killing of a Humble Jewish Immigrant by Chicago’s Chief of Police Exposed the Conflict between Law and Order and Civil Rights in Early 20th-Century America” (Academy Chicago, 2001). He has also published short stories, poetry and creative nonfiction, winning the 2007 Moment Magazine/Karma Foundation International Short Fiction Contest and being nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize in nonfiction writing by Southern Humanities Review.

Prior to joining the faculty at Scranton, Dr. Kraus served an assistant professor of English at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. He has taught at several other colleges and universities during his career, including Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

A resident of Shavertown, Dr. Kraus earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors and high distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, a master of arts degree in English from Columbia University, New York, New York and a Ph.D. in American literature from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

MELUS is dedicated to understanding American literature as a broad canvas, one that has space for different voices coming from different ethnicities, nationalities, and cultural experiences. To that end, it publishes an acclaimed academic journal, MELUS, and hosts an annual scholarly conference.

As its official documents put it, MELUS is a national professional organization that “endeavors to expand the definition of new, more broadly conceived U.S. literature through the study and teaching of Latino, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American, and ethnically specific Euro-American literary works, their authors, and their cultural contexts.”

Dr. Kraus will serve a three-year term as president of MELUS. He succeeds Dr. Yemisi Jimoh of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


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