Dr. Kevin J. Harty was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1948. He grew up in Brooklyn until his family moved to Chicago when he was about twelve years old. His father worked for the telephone company, which spurred the family’s move to Chicago, and his mother stayed home and cared for the family. Dr. Harty attended high school in the suburbs of Chicago, graduating when he was fifteen and a half years old. Between high school and college, he worked for a year in a department store, and briefly considered going into the fashion industry. He attended Marquette University for his undergraduate degree, graduating in 1970 at the age of twenty-two, with a B.A. in English and German. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master’s degree in English in 1971 and a Ph.D. in English in 1974. After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Harty began his teaching career at Centenary College of Louisiana and taught for brief periods at Rhode Island College and Temple University before starting a position as an English professor at La Salle University in 1982. Dr. Harty won the 1992 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at La Salle University. He went on to become the chair of the English department, and served as chair from 2002 to 2018, winning the Faculty Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2015. He recently stepped down as chair and continues to teach a wide variety of English courses at La Salle. Dr. Harty is trained as a medievalist and is considered a specialist in Medieval Literature; Chaucer; Vikings; literary traditions of King Arthur, Joan of Arc, and Robin Hood; film representations of the Middle Ages; cinematic adaptations of literary texts, and pop culture as related to AIDS. He is a renowned scholar and has written several books and many articles on a variety of his specialties, many of which have become industry standards.
Harty, Kevin J. Ph.D. and Skiles, Meghan, "Interview of Kevin J. Harty, Ph.D." (2019). All Oral Histories. 120.
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