Department of English

As faculty in the English Department at Xavier University, we are committed to the Jesuit values of solidarity and kinship, for and with others. In line with these values, we are committed to anti-racist action and working toward justice in our daily lives.

We believe in the power of literature to build empathy and understanding.

We believe in the power of language to move people to action and justice.

We commit to working toward this justice in our classrooms.

As faculty in the English Department at Xavier University, we whole-heartedly assert that Black Lives Matter.

To our black students and colleagues, we commit to work alongside you for justice.

To all of our students, colleagues, alumni, and friends, we invite you to join our anti-racist work. All for one, and one for all.


The English Department at Xavier University fully supports the MLA Statement Deploring Systemic Racism: 

MLA Statement Deploring Systemic Racism

In June 2020, the Executive Council approved the following statement. It was endorsed by five other organizations. 

The Executive Council of the Modern Language Association condemns in the strongest possible terms the wanton destruction of Black life in the United States. We deplore the horrific murders of Black people by the police and the systemic racism in police forces, in educational institutions, and throughout society. It has never been more important for educational institutions to support and expand Black and Africana studies, Latinx and ethnic studies, and Native American studies and to teach the literatures born of struggle against racist violence. During the time of pandemic, Black Americans are disproportionately at risk of illness and death because of a historical and ongoing deprivation of adequate health care. Whether Black lives are extinguished by police forces or by a broken and unjust health care system, it is clear that they are treated as dispensable lives. We call for an opposition to racism throughout society and for an understanding of the history of racism and lynching as it assumes a freshly brutal form in the present. We urge departments of language and literature to engage with the art and criticism that reflects on history and envisions another future. We call on educational institutions to renew their commitment to actively undo structures that limit access by and hinder the full participation of Black Americans and other nonwhite people at all levels. We stand in solidarity with all those who are trying to make a world of racial equality and justice. We oppose the lethal ignorance and hatred that animates racism, and we affirm educational projects that expose (and seek to overcome) the scourge of white supremacy.  


American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Medieval Academy of America
Middle East Studies Association
Shakespeare Association of America


Donald Michael Prues

July 12, 1967 ~ May 26, 2020 (age 52)


Don is the son of Margaret (nee Fathman) and the late Donald E. Prues and was the ninth of their 11 children: Marlene Prues, Donna (Andrew) Conlon, Jim (Diane) Prues, Jerry (Denise) Prues, Larry (Donna) Prues, the late Judy Prues, Betsy (Red) Kretten, Johnny (Sherry) Prues, Michael (Molly) Prues, and David (Amy) Prues. He was devoted to his large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews as well as many lifelong friends. He is married to Jen Lile, whom he met while working at F&W Publications in the mid-90s as an editor.

Don earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xavier University, where he began teaching English courses full-time in 2003. He was dedicated to his students’ learning and development inside and outside the classroom. He was known for spending hours helping students with papers, supporting them through difficult personal issues, and sharing his life experiences honestly and openly. Don stayed in touch with many former students and would often receive emails from students years after their graduation to thank him for the important life lessons he taught them.

Don’s love for travel, camping, hiking, and exploring began early in his life, with many road trips to National Parks in the west. Red River Gorge and Big South Fork were favorite nearby destinations he enjoyed solo or with family and friends. He and Jen had many adventures together, including a 6 month backpacking trip through Europe and 10 days in the Galapagos Islands. Don would often just show up unexpectedly when family members were on vacation, leading them to tease that he was “never invited but always welcome.”

Don was passionate about studying neuroscience and was always trying to better understand how the brain worked. He was curious about everything, loved having deep discussions with strangers and friends alike, played guitar, sang Taylor Swift songs loudly, and would do anything to help anyone in need.Don was committed to increasing awareness of and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Donations can be made to Xavier University, in memory of Don Prues, which will support the University’s mental health services. Gifts can be made online or by sending checks to:  Xavier University, University Relations, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45207.