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Vance, William L. 1934–

Vance, William L. 1934–

(William Lynn Vance)


Born April 19, 1934, in Dupree, SD; son of Earl Howard (a teacher) and Ruby Marie (a homemaker) Vance. Education: Oberlin College, A.B., 1956; University of Michigan, M.A., 1957, Ph.D., 1962. Politics: Democrat.


Home—Boston, MA. E-mail—bill [email protected]


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, instructor, 1961-62; Boston University, Boston, MA, assistant professor, 1962-69, associate professor, 1969-73, professor of English, 1973-2000, National Endowment for the Humanities distinguished teaching professor of the humanities, 1997-99, senior fellow, Society of Fellows, 1985-86, 1993-94, and 1995-96, department chair, 1985-88, director of American and New England studies program, 1988-90.


Senior fellow, Boston University Humanities Foundation, 1982-83; Getty grant, 1989; America's Rome was chosen as the "most outstanding book in the arts, literature, and language category," Association of American Publishers, 1989, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, 1990, and awarded Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, Phi Beta Kappa, 1990; Guggenheim fellowship, 1990-91; Metcalf Cup and Prize for excellence in teaching, 1992; D.L.L., University of South Dakota, 1992.


(Editor, with Richard Poirier) American Literature, two volumes, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

America's Rome, Volume 1: Classical Rome, Volume 2: Catholic and Contemporary Rome, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1989.

(Editor, with Christopher Ricks) The Faber Book of America, Faber & Faber (Winchester, MA), 1992.

(Editor, with Carlo Chiarenza, and contributor) Immaginari a confronto: i rapporti culturali tra Italia e Stati Uniti, Marsilio (Venice, Italy), 1992.

Contributor to books, including Roman Images, edited by Annabel Patterson, Johns Hopkins Press (Baltimore, MD), 1984; The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1860-1930, edited by Trevor Fairbrother, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), 1986; The Lure of Italy: American Artists and the Italian Experience, 1760-1914, edited by Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., Abrams (New York, NY), 1992; and The Cambridge Companion to Edith Wharton, edited by Millicent Bell, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995. Contributor to numerous periodicals, including On Paper, Raritan, Augustan Age, New England Quarterly, Walt Whitman Review, and Genre.



America, January 20, 1990, review of America's Rome, p. 43.

American Literature, June, 1990, Bruce Redford, review of America's Rome, p. 320.

Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 1989, Thomas D'Evelyn, review of America's Rome, p. 12.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 1990, review of America's Rome, p. 134.

Journal of American History, September, 1990, review of America's Rome, p. 659.

London Review of Books, April 19, 1990, review of America's Rome, p. 7.

New England Quarterly, September, 1990, Paul R. Baker, review of America's Rome, p. 478.

New York Review of Books, June 13, 1991, Hugh Honour, review of America's Rome, p. 26.

New York Times, August 21, 1989, Herbert Mitgang, review of America's Rome, p. B2.

New York Times Book Review, August 13, 1989, Robert M. Adams, review of America's Rome, p. 24.

Times Literary Supplement, November 17, 1989, Bernard Knox, review of America's Rome, p. 1262.

Washington Post Book World, August 6, 1989, review of America's Rome, p. 1.

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