James Perkins Papers
Series I of this collection houses correspondence, book reviews, grade books, a manuscript copy of Snakes, Butterbeans, and the Discovery of Electricity, and other materials documenting James Perkins' work at Westminster College between 1979 and 2008. Of particular interest are the items showing his selection as a Fulbright Scholar and his work on Robert Penn Warren.
Series II of this collection houses research notes, publications, and other information that Perkins compiled while working on his 1972 dissertation examining the work of poet Kenneth Fearing.
- 1935-2008 (bulk 1972-2008)
Conditions Governing Access
Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See www.special.lib.utk.edu for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.
Conditions Governing Use
The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on www.special.lib.utk.edu for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.
2.5 Linear Feet
This collection houses correspondence, book reviews, grade books, a manuscript copy of Snakes, Butterbeans, and the Discovery of Electricity, research notes, and other materials documenting James Perkins' work at Westminster College and his 1972 dissertation on poet Kenneth Fearing.
James Ashbrook Perkins was born in Covington, Kentucky on February 7, 1941. After attending Holmes High School, he obtained degrees from Centre College (1963), Miami University (1965), and The University of Tennessee (1972), where he got his PhD in English. While working on his doctorate, Perkins spent two years teaching at All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His dissertation was completed under Bobby Leggett on the American socialist poet Kenneth Fearing. After a year as instructor at UTK, Perkins was hired to teach creative writing and American literature at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where he eventually became Professor Emeritus of English and Public Relations.
Perkins participated in four summer seminars and institutes hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities. At a seminar under R. W. B. Lewis, Perkins was reintroduced to the work of Robert Penn Warren and subsequently spent almost two decades researching and writing about Warren. Perkins authored books on Robert Penn Warren, Robert Drake, David Madden and other Southern writers. He was also a poet and writer of short stories. In 1998 Perkins was named a senior Fulbright Scholar to Seoul National University in Korea. Perkins passed away in 2022.
This collection consists of three boxes divided into two series:
- Series I: Professional Papers, 1979-2008 (bulk 1997-2008)
- Series II: Dissertation Research on Kenneth Fearing, 1935-1987 (bulk 1972-1987)
James A. Perkins donated these papers to the University of Tennessee's Special Collections Library on June 25, 2008.