One of Wright State University’s first English professors passed away April 13 at Hospice of Dayton. Norm Cary had been battling cancer for over a year.
Cary first came to Wright State as an instructor in 1967 and successfully defended his dissertation on modern Christian literary criticism at Wayne State University the following year, whereupon he was made an assistant professor of English. Cary was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 1972 and to the rank of Professor in 1981.
In the early days Cary primarily taught American literature. He had an interest in American drama, the intersection of sociology and literature, and of faith and literature. His 1976 book Christian Criticism in the Twentieth Century: Theological Approaches to Literature was very well reviewed. He maintained a long association with the journal Christianity and Literature.
Cary was an early advocate for inter-university cooperation, giving lectures at and collaborating with colleagues at Central State University, Wilberforce University and University of Dayton, among others. He was involved in the university Honors Program from its early beginnings. Off campus Norm was an early and active member of the Interfaith Forum of Greater Dayton, and in recent years had been a volunteer at the Dayton Peace Museum.