Former Dean Jacqueline Royster Named Professor Emerita

Posted July 29, 2020

Jacqueline J. Royster, professor of English in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts from 2010 – 2019, has been named professor emerita.

She stepped down as dean and as the Ivan Allen Jr. Dean’s Chair in Liberal Arts and Technology in August 2019. She retires August 31, 2020.

Royster is regarded as a leading scholar in feminist rhetorical studies as a deliberately interdisciplinary area of research.  During the past year, her research was three-pronged.  She continued to work with undergraduate interns on her Building Memories project, which draws attention to the diverse histories and cultures of particular sites in the City of Atlanta and on the lives and accomplishments of some of the people who lived and worked in these spaces.  She continued also to work through Communities Who Know, Inc., focused mainly on developing the CWK Data Dashboard, which is designed to enhance community knowledge, encourage better data-driven decision-making at the neighborhood level, and to support, as well, research and policymaking processes related to the development and sustainability of urban communities.  Her major research priority, however, was a book project focused on the socio-political activism and leadership of nineteenth century African American women.  

During her nine years as dean, Royster raised the profile of Georgia Tech liberal arts research, education, and public engagement through a robust array of innovative initiatives engaging local, national, and international partners and audiences.

A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Royster earned an M.A. and D.A. in English from the University of Michigan. Her research centers on rhetorical studies, literacy studies, women’s studies, and cultural studies, areas in which she has authored and co-authored numerous books, articles, and book chapters. 

She is the author or co-author of four books: Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1997), Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change among African American Women(2000), Profiles of Ohio Women, 1803-2003 (2003), and Feminist Rhetorical Studies: New Horizons in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies (2012). She is the co-editor of two books:  Double-Stitch: Black Women Write about Mothers and Daughters (1991) and Calling Cards: Theory and Practice in the Study of Race, Gender, and Culture (2005), and the editor of an anthology for college writing courses, Critical Inquiries (2003). She was consulting writer for Writer’s Choice, a textbook series for grades 6 – 8, and co-editor of Reader’s Choice, a literature series for grades 9 – 12, both published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2010, Royster served as Senior Vice Provost and Executive Dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU).

Read an extensive article highlighting Royster’s leadership and achievements as dean.

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