Nancy Bentley Named Donald T. Regan Professor of English

April 28, 2017

Dean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to name Nancy Bentley the Donald T. Regan Professor of English in Penn Arts and Sciences.

Bentley is a distinguished scholar of American literary and cultural studies. Her work, including the monographs Frantic Panoramas: American Literature and Mass Culture 1870-1920 and The Ethnography of Manners, examines and contextualizes American literature and culture in unprecedented interdisciplinary ways. The recipient of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Bentley has also taught and written about the history of American and African American literature, and she is currently writing a book on New World kinship and the American novel. Her service includes her work as chair of the Department of English as well as her membership on the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility and the Penn Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee.

This professorship is named for the late Donald T. Regan, Hon’72 who had an impressive career as an executive at Merrill Lynch, secretary of the treasury, and chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan. He also served as chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. The chair was established by Merrill Lynch and the friends of the late Mr. Regan in 1981 to recognize a distinguished scholar in English who has a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, particularly the teaching of writing. This chair reflects Mr. Regan’s interest in the English language and his belief that the development of a student’s use of language is one of the most important ends of higher education.