MC

Mississippi College

English Professor Potts Delivers Humanities Lecture

November 4, 2008

James B. Potts III, a Mississippi College English professor and prolific writer, will deliver the 2008 Distinguished Lecture for the Mississippi Humanities Council.

His humanities address is set for Monday Nov. 24 in the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall of the Aven Fine Arts Building on the Clinton campus. The program begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Potts was destined for the academic world. His two parents were teachers and so were a half-dozen of his cousins or great aunts. Several of his other relatives are married to teachers. His father is a professor emeritus of Renaissance British literature at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and his mother taught at Ouachita Christian School in Monroe, La. The MC professor says he thinks of teaching as "serious fun."

Potts received his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. His dissertation was on the concept of masculinity in the work of four outstanding Southern writers, including MC graduate Barry Hannah, the late award-winning author James Dickey of South Carolina, William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. The MC English professor's writings have been published in the "Mississippi Quarterly" and the "Southern Quarterly," plus the "Journal of American Drama," among others.

Before returning to graduate school at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Potts worked as a landman who did right-of-way negotiations and oil and gas leases for clients like Standard Oil of Ohio, Exxon, AT&T and the State of Florida. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi with a major in English and political science and minor in history in 1978.

Potts has served as president of the Mississippi Philological Association since 2007, and as editor of the literary journal "POMPA."

He and his wife, Roxanne, live in Jackson. Potts grew up in Oxford, Miss. and Monroe, La. He's been listed in "Who's Who Among American University Professors" in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Mississippian has been teaching since 1994.