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O. M. Brack

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Biography: 

O. M. Brack Jr. is an Emeritus Professor with the Department of English. He has taught courses in Restoration and 18th-century English literature, bibliography and research methods, textual criticism, textual editing and the history of the book. He has directed 36 dissertations and 27 theses to completion. In 1991, he received the ASU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award, and, in 2000, the ASU Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award. For both of these honors, he was nominated by his students. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in the World. He is a member of The Johnsonians, Samuel Johnson Society of Southern California, and the Grolier Club.

Brack is an authority on the life and writings of Samuel Johnson. The tercentenary of Johnson’s birth was in 2009. He arranged an exhibition, “Samuel Johnson, Professional Author,” for the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, held from June through September 2009, and wrote the catalogue for it. As part of the tercentenary celebration, he also critically edited and provided an introduction and historical annotations for Sir John Hawkins, "The Life of Samuel Johnson," LL.D. (1787), the first full-length biography of Johnson, which was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2009. Since 1977, he has been a member of the editorial committee of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, and has published in this edition "A Commentary on Mr. Pope’s Principles of Morality," or "Essay on Man" (2004), and is completing a second volume, "Biographical Writings." For the same series, he is critically editing the text of the three-volumes of "Debates in the Senate of Magna Lilliputia," with introduction and annotations by Thomas Kaminski and Benjamin B. Hoover. He has co-authored "The Early Biographers of Samuel Johnson" (1971) and co-edited "The Early Biographies of Samuel Johnson" (1974), both with Robert E. Kelley. He has critically edited "Journal Narrative Relative to Dr. Johnson's Last Illness, Three Weeks before his Death, Kept by John Hoole" (1972), and written "Samuel Johnson in New Albion. A Descriptive Census of Rare and Useful Johnson Books and Manuscripts and Johnsoniana Now Located in California" (1997). His "The Macaroni Parson and the Concentrated Mind: Samuel Johnson’s Writings for the Reverend William Dodd" appeared in 2004. He has also written more than thirty essays on Johnson for scholarly journals, or for keepsakes for The Johnsonians and the Samuel Johnson Society of Southern California.

Brack is founding editor for the "Works of Tobias Smollett," University of Georgia Press. He serves as textual editor for this edition and has critically edited the texts for "The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom" (1988), "The History and Adventures of an Atom" (1989), "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker" (1990), "Poems Plays" and “The Briton” (1993), "The Adventures of Telemachus, the Son of Ulysses" (1997), "The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote" (2003), and for the forthcoming "The Adventures of Roderick Random" and "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle." He has also critically edited "The Devil upon Crutches" (2005), and the forthcoming "The Adventures of Gil Blas," and, with Leslie A. Chilton, provided an introduction and historical annotations. He has also edited a collection of essays, "Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Critical Essays In Memory of Paul Gabriel Boucé" (2007), which includes an essay by him in which Smollett’s authorship of “The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality” in Peregrine Pickle is for the first time clearly established. He has written an additional 10 essays on Smollett, as well as essays on other aspects of 18th-century literature, bibliography and textual criticism.

Research Activity: 
  • Brack,O M*. AN EDITION OF THE WORKS OF TOBIAS SMOLLETT. NEH(6/1/1995 - 6/30/1999).
  • Brack,O M*. WORKS OF TOBIAS SMOLLET. UNIV OF DELAWARE(6/10/1993 - 5/31/1996).
Service: 
  • Public Relations Outreach Committee, Chair (2006 - Present)
  • Samuel Johnson Society of Southern California, Member, Board of Directors (1989 - Present)
  • Research, Creativity, and Social Committee, Member (2005 - 2006)
  • Larry Blackmon Book Collecting Contest, judge (2003)
  • Library Committee, member (2003)
  • University, Graduate College Ph.D. Mentor Award, committee member (2003)