Returning Hometown Scholar to Discuss Controversy of Updating Literary Classics

Dean Rader 

Former Weatherford resident Dean Rader, who is professor of English at the University of San Francisco, will lead a participatory discussion April 4 on the current controversy of changing literary classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to appease contemporary societal views prevalent in the United States. 

The 7 p.m. talk will be held this Monday, April 4, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Conference Center, located at the corner of 7th and Davis Streets in Weatherford. Admission is free and open to the public.

Beyond the controversy of changing literary classics, the presentation will also include a poetry reading from Dean Rader’s upcoming book, Works & Days, and a literary discussion of Native literature. A book signing will follow the evening presentation. Books will be available for purchase Monday night.

Rader has been at the University of San Francisco since 2001 in several capacities, including the National Endowment of the Humanities chair and associate dean for Arts and Humanities.

Rader has written on numerous subjects, from entries in the Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia to essays and opinion pieces for both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oklahoma Observer to blogging about poetry, media, politics, and culture on his site, The Weekly Rader ( Several of his original poems have been published in the Berkeley Poetry Review, the Connecticut Review, Poet Lore and The Wallace Stevens Journal.

Rader has produced a significant body of work on American Indian poetry in such publications as SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures and Southwestern American Literature, covering subjects like the poetry of social engagement, native theater and trickery imagery in literature. Rader has published two books, Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry (2003) and The World is a Text: Writing, Reading, and Thinking about Visual and Popular Culture (2010).

He has a forthcoming book, Engaged Resistance: Contemporary American Indian Art, Literature and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI that is scheduled to be published in April 2011. Rader recently finished “The Ten Greatest Poets Project” originating in a San Francisco Chronicle column and picked up by the New York Times and The New Yorker (magazine). In this, Rader discusses the top ten poets as defined by “a poet’s ability to affect social movements, to alter political discourse, and to be a mouthpiece for the oppressed.”

Rader earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and his Masters of Arts in Comparative Literature and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

For more information about the Al Harris Library Showcase event, contact Jason Dupree, head of public services, SWOSU Libraries, at 580.774.3031 or email