A Quarter Century of Student Life at Tulane: A Dean’s Narrative History, 1949-1975

5by John H. Stibbs and John Edgar Browning
A Quarter Century of Student Life at Tulane: A Dean’s Narrative History, 1949-1975, Amazon Prime Paperback

In his extraordinary memoir about his 25-year career as Dean of Students at Tulane University from the late 1940s through mid-1970s, John Stibbs gives his personal observations and anecdotes in an engaging insider’s look at some of Tulane’s most complex and controversial moments in its history as an institution. Completed shortly before his untimely death in 1975, the same year he was to retire, Stibbs’s memoir found its way in subsequent years to a used bookstore in the French Quarter where in 2010 it was finally discovered by PhD candidate at SUNY-Buffalo John Edgar Browning,who edited and annotated the original typescript. Browning has illustrated Stibbs’s memoir with photos, facsimile reproductions of student “unrest” leaflets, articles from The Tulane Hullabalooand New Orleans’s daily newspaper The Times-Picayune, as well as some of Stibbs’s speeches and correspondence. A comprehensive index is provided. This is an invaluable reference work on the history of Tulane as well as the modernization of the American university system.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“John Stibbs’s memoir provides an illuminating picture of a beleaguered traditionalist seeking to hold back the forces of cultural change.  His unapologetic defense of the Old Order combines equal portions of sincerity and self-delusion, reflecting the outlook of a generation that clung tenaciously to football, fraternities, and student government as the central pillars of collegiate life. Stibbs found little to praise in the campus activism of the 1960s, but his conservatism was of the genteel variety, having little in common with the cramped and anti-humanistic vocationalism that has displaced genuine higher learning on many of today’s college campuses.”
Clarence L. Mohr, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of South Alabama, editor of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Education, and co-author of Tulane: The Emergence of a Modern University, 1945-1980.
“The decades following World War II were a time of almost seismic change in higher education in the American South. As dramatic social, economic and demographic transformation came to the region, the aspirations of southern universities and their students began to shift profoundly, a shift that only picked up speed in the 1960s. This volume provides a first-hand account of what that tumultuous era looked like through the eyes of long time Tulane Dean of Students, John Stibbs. Stibbs’s memoirs give scholars of the period a fascinating window into this long running and deeply contested transformation from the perspective of a stalwart traditionalist and a university insider whose career spanned the heart of the period.” 
Melissa Kean, Ph.D., Centennial Historian at Rice University and author of Desegregating Private Higher Education in the South: Duke, Emory, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt.

About the Author

John H. Stibbs joined the English faculty at Tulane University and became Dean of Students in 1953, serving in that capacity until his death in 1975. During that time he dealt with what he terms the time of troubles: of student power, anti-war demonstrations, integration, and gay rights, among others. He also became a prominent figure in the modernization of the American higher education system. With a doctorate from the University of Michigan (1942), he was both an instructor in Naval History and an aide to the Commander of the Gulf Sea Frontier before hiring on as a professor of English at Tulane in 1946. Besides his duties as Dean of Students at Tulane, he served as consultant on student affairs to Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago and the World Federation for Mental Health. He was asked by the Ford Foundation to consult universities in Pakistan, and was enlisted by the U.S. Department of State to consult the Free University of Berlin. Several classrooms and conference rooms today at Tulane are named for John H. Stibbs, and an award in his name is given annually to the outstanding undergraduate professor.

More About the Author

John Edgar Browning


John Edgar Browning is a doctoral student in American Studies and holds a distinguished Arthur. A. Schomburg Fellowship in the Department of Transnational Studies at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He took undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from Florida State University (2003) and the University of Central Oklahoma (2006) and completed the coursework for a Ph.D. in English at Louisiana State University (2011) before transferring to UB. For the last nine years he’s taught at universities across the south and southwest before joining the adjunct English faculty at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).Browning has contracted or published 12 academic and popular trade books and more than 30 articles, book chapters, and reviews on subjects that cluster around Cultural Studies, Horror, the Un-Dead, Bram Stoker, and the Gothic. He has also guest appeared on National Geographic’s Taboo USA (2013-) and The Discovery Channel’s William Shatner’s Weird or What? (2010-) to discuss vampires.

Additionally, he spent nearly two years conducting an ethnographic study of persons living in New Orleans who self-identify as vampire, a project that has become a focal point of his doctoral dissertation.

University at Buffalo, “Monster Culture”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1K6irKHrjc&feature=youtu.be



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