Albert Joseph Guerard

Biography of Albert Joseph Guerard

Albert Joseph Guerard (1914–2000) was an American critic, novelist, and professor. He was born in Houston, Texas, and educated at Stanford University, (B.A. 1934), (Ph.D. 1938) and Harvard University, (M.A. 1936).

Guerard was born in Houston in 1914. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1934 from Stanford and a master's from Harvard in 1936. He taught for a year at Amherst College before earning his doctorate from Stanford in 1938. He taught at Harvard from 1938 to 1961, with a stint in the Army from 1943 to 1945 where he was a Technical Sergeant in the psychological warfare branch.

He moved to Stanford in 1961 where he launched the university's first freshman seminar program, which ran for 13 years. As many as 400 students were involved in it annually. He also worked to get funding for the Voice Project, a program that brought professional writers to campus to teach freshmen. He succeeded Yvor Winters in the literature chair named after Guerard's father, Albert Léon Guérard, who was also a professor at Stanford for many years. He remained at Stanford until 1985. His students included writers John Hawkes, Frank O'Hara and Harriet Doerr. His interest in modernism and postmodernism led him to develop Stanford's interdisciplinary doctoral program in "Modern Thought and Literature", which still exists.

After suffering from emphysema for many years, he died in the same room where his father had died 41 years before.

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