Louis D. Rubin Jr., University distinguished professor of English, now emeritus, and co-founder of Algonquin Press of Chapel Hill, is celebrated in an exhibit through the end of September at Davis Library as one of the most prominent figures in Southern literature studies.
Rubin is the 2005 recipient of the John Tyler Caldwell Award, the highest honor of the North Carolina Humanities Council presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions to public humanities.
On display is a collection of Rubin’s letters and publications that chronicle a lifetime spent making, shaping and honoring Southern literature. A 1956 letter from Flannery O’Connor, another from Eudora Welty written in 1970 and others from authors including Walker Percy ’37 and Rubin himself reveal Rubin’s sincere commitment to Southern writers.
Rubin’s 22-year career at UNC was punctuated by a string of publications including A Bibliographical Guide to Southern Literature (1969), the History of Southern Literature (1985) and the Southern Literary Studies Series of LSU Press. He also co-founded the Southern Literary Journal and founded the Society for the Study of Southern Literature in 1968.
His numerous honors include the North Carolina Award for Literature in 1992, the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for lifetime contributions to the literary heritage of North Carolina, the 2004 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts in Letters and, in 2005, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Book Critics Circle.
Additional manuscripts and papers Rubin donated to the University are housed permanently in the Southern Historical Collection and are also available for viewing at Wilson Library.