The Professor

Frank Rogers


An internationally distinguished scholar of American literature, literary critic, and author of a number of major scholarly studies, Frank Rogers (Franklin R. Rogers) received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1958 and since then has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of California-Davis, San Jose State University; and in France at the University of Lyon and the University of Paris-Sorbonne. In addition, he has conducted seminars at the prestigious Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Burres-sur-Yvette, France (subject: The Topology of Metaphor) and at Kyoto, Japan, under the auspices of Doshisha and Kyoto Universities (subject: Image Sequences as a Mode of Literary History). His scholarly publications and activities have won him widespread recognition including biographical notices in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, and The International Who's Who of Writers and Authors.

In 1966-67, he served as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Lyon. At the end of his tenure he was cited by the French government as the most successful Fulbright Professor in the history of the program in France, and in an unprecedented act the students of the University of Lyon petitioned the Ministry of Education to bring him back. As a consequence, he received an invitation from the Prime Minister of France and served there another two years, 1969-1971. In 1986 he received medals from Kyoto and Doshisha Universities, Kyoto, Japan.

Born in New York City in 1921, he grew up in the upper Hudson Valley and briefly worked as a signalman-telegrapher on the New York Central Railroad (1938-1942) and even more briefly (1940-1942) as an overseas radio operator with RCA. During World War II, his abilities with International Morse code earned him an assignment to the Radio Intelligence Service, U.S. Army Signal Corps. While serving in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of Operations, he developed an interest in the culture, history, languages, and literature of India and became passably fluent in both Hindi and Bengali. More recently, despite his dependence on a wheelchair, he has traveled extensively throughout northern and central India with his wife Mary Ann, in the process visiting the sites that figure in those of his novels set in that country. He and his wife enjoy numerous friends and acquaintances in the Indo-American community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2002 he published his first novel, When the Fight Was Done, with Penguin Books-India. He has finished a second novel, Dewdrop on the Lotus, this, too, set in India, and a third, entitled Moonlight Sonata, set in Upstate New York in 1869 at the time of the so-called Susquehanna War. In these (and others to come, should time permit), he tries to do for himself what he has taught others to do, most notably Amy Tan, who has said that "The creative instincts of Franklin Rogers have had a profound effect on awakening my own. He helped me see the universal resonance that lies within images: how they glimmer beneath the consciousness of the reader, accumulate depth of emotion, and become the memory of the story's life."

He lives in the Santa Cruz mountains near Los Gatos, California, in a geodesic dome which he and Mary Ann with the aid of their son, Bruce, began building in 1977. Though now quite livable, it still needs some finishing touches, but as the famous Japanese potter Hamada said, "If it's finished, it's dead." When he is not busy writing, he reads, plays the piano, listens to music, or enjoys the scenery about his Santa Cruz mountain home. At one time, oil painting was a companion passion to the piano, but a series of strokes forced an end to that activity.

Content ©2006-2008 Frank Rogers. Website design Bruce Rogers.