Encyclopedia of UNCG History

An online resource for exploring the history of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Joseph Allen Bryant Jr. was born on November 26, 1919 in Glasgow, Kentucky. He was married with two children, Joseph Allen III and Garnett Woodruff. Bryant received his bachelors at West Kentucky Teachers College in 1940, his masters at Vanderbilt University in 1941, and his doctorate at Yale University in 1948. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Navy until his service ended in 1946. He was an accomplished Shakespearean scholar who spent most of his life teaching. Bryant served as an instructor of English at the University of Kentucky (1946-1948),  an instructor at Vanderbilt University (1948-1950), and professor at Vanderbilt (Assistant Professor, 1950-1954; Associate Professor, 1954-1956). During his years at Vanderbilt he received recognition as a Ford Fellow from 1952 to 1953.

From 1956 to 1959 he was an Associate Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. In 1959, he accepted the position of Associate Professor at Duke University. He had published numerous books, including Hippolyta’s View: Essays on the Christian Aspect of Shakespeare’s Plays, and other pieces that appeared in publications such as the Modern Language Review, Vanderbilt Studies in the Humanities, Studies in Philology, the Sewanee Review, Modern Philology Journal of English and Germanic Philology, and the Kenyon Review. He was also a member of the Modern Language Association of America, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, and Renaissance Society of America.

On September 1, 1961 Bryant was appointed head of the English Department at Woman’s College. At WC, he was a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to President of consolidated University, member of honors council, and member of Graduate Administrative Board. In 1965 he received the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award. He was appointed a Fulbright Lecturer of the faculty of the University at Nantes, France for the year 1965 to 1966. During his absence, Dr. Randolph Bulgin took his place as head of the English Department. In 1967 Dr. Bryant resigned and accepted a position at Syracuse University.

Bryant died in 1999.


Written by Brittany Hedrick, Fall 2015 intern