Oral History Interview with Prosser Gifford

Interview by Robert C. Townsend on June 8, 2011

Prosser Gifford, former dean of the faculty interviewed by Robert Townsend, former professor of English.


Prosser Gifford served as dean of the faculty from 1967-1979. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in history from Yale. In addition to teaching appointments at Yale, he also has extensive experience as an editor of volumes on African history and United States foreign policy. In 1980 Gifford was appointed deputy director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars where he worked until 1988. He then served at the Library of Congress as the director of the Office of Scholarly Programs and the John W. Kluge Center until his retirement in 2005.

Robert C. Townsend came to Amherst in 1962 as a member of the English Department and served as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities until his retirement in 2008. He has taught everything from Wordsworth and Keats to nonfiction writing.

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