H. Bruce Franklin
H. Bruce Franklin has taught at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, and Yale and currently is the John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University in Newark. He has given over five hundred addresses on college campuses, on radio and TV shows, and at academic conferences, museums, and libraries, and he has participated in making four films.
Before becoming an academic, Franklin worked in factories, was a tugboat mate and deckhand, and flew for three years in the United States Air Force as a Strategic Air Command navigator and intelligence officer.
Franklin has published continually on the history and literature of the Vietnam War since 1966, when he became widely known for his activist opposition to the war. His pioneering course on the war and his book M.I.A. Or Mythmaking in America have had a major national impact, and he is co-editor of the widely-adopted history text Vietnam and America: A Documented History. His latest book, Vietnam and Other American Fantasies, offers a sweeping vision of American culture in the 21st century.
Another area where Franklin's work has achieved international distinction is the study of science fiction and its relation to culture and history. In 1961 he offered one of the first two university courses in science fiction, and his book Future Perfect played a key role in establishing the importance and academic legitimacy of the subject. His Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction won the Eaton Award for 1981; in 1983 he won the Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Scholarship of the Science Fiction Research Association; in 1990 he was named the Distinguished Scholar of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts; and in 1991 he was Guest Curator for the "Star Trek and the Sixties" exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Franklin's first book, The Wake of the Gods: Melville's Mythology, has been in print continually since 1963 and is regarded as a classic work of scholarship and criticism. He is a past president of the Melville Society, and continues to publish about Melville.
Prison Literature in America: The Victim as Criminal and Artist established Franklin as the world's leading authority on American prison literature. His anthology Prison Writing in 20th-Century America is widely influential.