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J. Dennis Huston Literary Papers

Identifier: UA 0390
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

These papers relate to the scholarly and teaching career of J. Dennis Huston. They reflect the courses he taught on the plays of Shakespeare and other British Renaissance dramatists, on detective fiction, and on works constituting the Western humanities tradition. Also included are materials reflecting the administration of Rice University's required Humanities Foundation Course. There are syllabi of Huston courses, student evaluations of these courses, articles written by others about the teaching of writing, varied short texts written by Huston, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, and ephemera.


  • Creation: 1964 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Collection open for research without restrictions, except for the selected folders in Series V: Personal, which is restricted from all viewing and use until 2050.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the J. Dennis Huston literary papers, 1969 - 2017 must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, Texas.

Biographical / Historical

J. Dennis Huston, the Gladys Louise Fox Professor Emeritus of English at Rice University, was born September 21, 1939. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1961 and his M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1966) from Yale University. In 1966-67 he was an instructor of English at Yale and an Assistant Professor there for the following two years. In 1969 he became an Associate Professor at Rice University and in 1980 was promoted to full professor. His distinguished record of awards for outstanding teaching began in 1975 with the Brown College Teaching Award. The Nicholas Salgo Distinguished Teacher Award was won by Huston that same year and again in 1984. In 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1988 he received a George R. Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The George R. Brown Certificate of Highest Merit followed in 1989, making him ineligible for life for further Brown teaching awards. His outstanding skills as a teacher received nationwide recognition in 1989 when he was chosen Professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Huston is the author of "Shakespeare's Comedies of Play" and co-editor of a collection of Renaissance plays. He has recorded video lectures on Shakespeare and on detective fiction for The Teaching Company. When the Rice faculty and administration decided that there should be foundational courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences required for students contrasting with their majors, Dennis Huston was chosen to be director of the Humanities Foundation Course. From 1978 to 1982 and again from 1992 to 1998 he was a co-master of Rice's Hanszen College, one of the student residence halls on campus. He is a past president of Rice's Beta of Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and has served on the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston's board of directors since 1999.


5.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes + map drawer)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was a gift donated by Dr. J. Dennis Huston in 2017.

Guide to the J. Dennis Huston Literary Papers, 1964-2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA