About Richard Lanham
Richard A. Lanham was educated at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., and at Yale University, from which he holds the A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in English. He began his teaching career at Dartmouth College, and from 1965 to 1994 taught in the English Department at UCLA, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has been an NEH Senior Fellow, a Senior Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Norman Freehling Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, the 1994 International Scholar at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., and, in 1995, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at Tulane University. In 2001-02, as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, he lectured and met with students and faculty in two-day visits to nine U.S. college campuses.
Lanham is the author of The Motives of Eloquence, Literacy and the Survival of Humanism, Analyzing Prose, The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts and other books of literary criticism and prose stylistics. His most recent book, The Economics of Attention, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2006, won the Media Ecology Association’s Erving Goffman Award for 2007.
Prof. Lanham’s teaching career found its center in Chaucer, Shakespeare, and literary rhetoric from classical Greece to the present day. He has also throughout his career maintained a serious interest in student writing. In pursuit of this interest, he founded the UCLA Writing Programs, and directed it from 1979 to 1986. He has also written two composition textbooks, Revising Prose and Revising Business Prose, each with an accompanying video. It was while working in the UCLA Writing Programs that he first became interested in electronic text, the latest chapter in the history of Western rhetoric. In recent years he has lectured widely on multimedia expression.
In 2010 he delivered the keynote address at a conference for small colleges considering the uses of the internet in undergraduate research. Also in 2010 he made a presentation at a symposium on reading and multimedia at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Since 1971, Prof. Lanham has also acted as a literary consultant and expert witness in copyright disputes in the television and motion picture business. He has worked on cases involving King Kong, Jaws, Shampoo, Earthquake, Star Wars, Superman, and many other films. His television credits in this line of endeavor include The A-Team and Falcon Crest.
Prof. Lanham is the president of Rhetorica, Inc., a Los Angeles consulting and editorial services company.
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