Alumnus Profile: Alex Kaufman

Alexander L. Kaufman graduated from Millersville University in 1999 with a Bachelors of Science in Education (BSE) in English and also in Social Studies. He is originally from Glenside, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County. As an undergraduate at Millersville, he enjoyed the intersections of history and literature, from the Middle Ages to the present day. While at Millersville, Alex forged close professional bonds with a number of faculty members in the English and History Departments. These unofficial mentorships instilled within him the importance of research, scholarship, collaboration, and professionalization. He realized that if he wanted to attend graduate school and teach at the college level, then he would need to go beyond the minimum requirements within each syllabus, especially in his upper-level literature and history courses, and to concentrate on these four critical areas of intellectual and personal growth.

After graduating from Millersville, Alex earned an MA in English in 2001 and then a Ph.D. in English in 2006, both from Purdue University. His doctoral studies focused on Middle English Language and Literature, and he had two secondary concentrations: Old English Language and Literature, and History of the English Language. His love of literature and the historical record greatly informed his studies and research in late medieval English literature and historical writings. While at Purdue, he continued to explore new areas of scholarship. While people in the corporate world often speak of the importance of “networking,” Alex understood that those in academia must also network in order to learn and grow as scholars and professionals. Alex gave his first professional presentation while an undergraduate at Millersville, and he soon learned as a graduate student that attending and presenting at national and international conferences is an excellent way to learn, receive feedback on one’s work, meet new colleagues, and initiate collaborative research projects.

After Purdue, Alex accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position of English at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. He would spend eleven years at AUM, where he eventually earned the rank of full professor. He also continued his collaboration and mentoring, both with students and colleagues, where he served as the Coordinator for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program for a number of years and also as Chair of the Department of English and Philosophy.

In January 2018, Alex returned to Indiana. He is now the Reed D. Voran Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Ball State University where he teaches in the Honors College. Alex really enjoys teaching, and some of his classes include outlaws from the medieval period to the present day, the Robin Hood tradition, historical writing and medieval chronicles, Chaucer, Arthurian literature and film, and medievalisms.

He loves researching, especially in archives. In addition to authoring numerous journal articles and book chapters, Alex is the author of The Historical Literature of the Jack Cade Rebellion (Ashgate 2009; repr. Routledge, 2016), co-editor of Telling Tales and Crafting Books: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. Ohlgren (Medieval Institute Publication, 2016), and editor of British Outlaws of Literature and History: Essays on Medieval and Early Modern Figures from Robin Hood to Twm Shon Catty (McFarland, 2011). He is currently working on two collections of essays, one on Robin Hood and the literary canon, and another on food and feasts in modern outlaw tales.  His passion toward history is still very much present, as he’s writing a sourcebook for the Jack Cade Rebellion.

Alex took to heart his Millersville and Purdue professors’ positive notion of collaboration. Much of his scholarship is collaborative in nature, especially his editorial work. With Valerie B. Johnson, he co-founded the journal The Bulletin of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies and also serves as co-administrator for the scholarly blog Robin Hood Scholars: IARHS on the Web. Moreover, he is also a general editor, with Lesley Coote, of the book series Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture for Routledge Publishing.

Alex Kaufman