FAU Broward Campuses - Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Robert (Don) Adams

Sunday, Aug 01, 2021
Dr. Robert (Don) Adams

Professor | English

Dr. Robert (Don) Adams has been a professor in the Department of English, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, since 1994 teaching courses in modern literature. He is working on a book project that examines how different ethical systems are reflected and expressed in modern literature. In 2017-18, as a Visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar at Christ University in Bangalore, India, Dr. Adams examined the work of British-American novelist Christopher Isherwood who, in the 1940s at the Vedanta Center in Los Angeles, collaborated with guru Swami Prabhavananda into translating several major Indian religious and philosophical texts from Sanskrit into English. Dr. Adams is interested in how Isherwood, in his writings, used Indian religious and philosophical ethics as a base to critique Western society.

The impact of Dr. Adams’ research reflects the courses he teaches . "Last year I taught a course for the first time on the modern English-language novel in India — all native Indian writers write in English," Dr. Adams said. He teaches courses in modern American, British, and Irish literature as well as courses in Modern Asian-American literature and in English-language world literature. " I also taught a course for the first time last year in LGBTQ literature, which I very much enjoyed, and which I likely will teach again in the Spring of 2022," he said.

In addition to India, Dr. Adams also spent two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam from 2002-04. "The most valuable part of those years for me was getting to know the world from a very different viewpoint," he said. "I would encourage other professors to consider Fulbright fellowships. FAU has a generous and supportive policy in regard to that program and it is an enriching experience." As far as his years at FAU, Dr. Adams said his favorite experience is teaching students at night who are returning to get a college degree in midlife and mid-career, and students who are the first in their families to attend a university. "I enjoy teaching all students, but I particularly enjoy teaching these students because a university education can mean so much to them," he said.

Dr. Adams advice for those students seeking a graduate degree in English: "The job market in higher education for graduate degrees in English is not very good and has not been very good for many years. But a graduate degree in English still can be very useful for secondary teachers and for those wanting to study literature for its own sake and to learn to think in a more complex manner about oneself and the world. Literature has a profound ability to deepen one’s understanding of experience and ideally it can teach us to be better people, as it looks at the world from so many sympathetic alternative viewpoints," he said.

Dr. Adams was born near St. Louis and currently lives in Fort Lauderdale. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, going for walks, reading and listening to music.