Josef William Fox. Papers, 1947-1981

Collection Overview

Title: Josef William Fox. Papers, 1947-1981

Record Series: 14/05/02/02

Creator: Josef Fox

Date: 1947-1981  

Extent: 1.67 linear feet, 4 boxes

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: This material is entirely in English.

Access and Use

Accessing the Collection:

Aside from one item in Box 1, there are no restrictions on the use of this material.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item] in the Josef William Fox Papers, 1947-1981, Archives Record Series 14/06/12, [box and folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

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Historical Note

Josef William Fox was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in 1914. He obtained his B. A. degree in 1937 from Pennsylvania State University, and his M .A. in 1938 from Louisiana State University. He was awarded the Ph. D. degree in English from the University of Chicago in 1953, and did post-doctoral study at Harvard University.

During World War II, Fox served in both the Army and the Navy. He was married to Priscilla Kakis in New York City in 1944.

Fox received the "Favorite Teacher" award several times during his career at UNI, a reflection of his dedication to his students and their respect for him. He retired from the Department of Philosophy and Religion in December 1979, and moved to Vermont with his wife. He died of a heart attack August 7, 1980, at his Peacham, Vermont, home.

He was survived by his wife; two brothers, Paul, in California, and Carl, in Pennsylvania; and a sister, Kathryn Bemesderfer, in Ohio.

Memorial services were held at 4 P.M. Wednesday, August 27, 1980, in the Education Center. Speaking at the ceremony were Thomas Thompson, professor of philosophy and religion, H. W. Reninger, former head of the Department of English, and J. W. Maucker, former UNI president, all long-time friends of Fox.


Scope and Content

Portions of these papers relating to the collection of essays, A Faith in Reason, were acquired from Professor Scott Cawelti after the book was published. The collection of photocopied Obiter Scripta columns, assembled for the production of the book, is probably very close to being complete. Professor Fox used these columns to express frequently controversial views on wide variety of both college and public issues.

Professor Evelyn Wood gave the Humanities lecture notes to Rod Library Special Collections in June 2001. Professor Fox had given those notes to her when he retired.

The correspondence is a rich source of information about significant issues relating to the teaching of Humanities at UNI from 1950 through 1970. Professor Fox exchanged lengthy correspondence with many administrators and colleagues including J. W. Maucker, William Lang, H. W. Reninger, and Thomas Thompson. Frequently both sides of the correspondence are present. 


Box 1

Biographical information

Memorial service and memorial plans, including addresses by J. W. Maucker, H. W. Reninger, and Thomas Thompson

Professor Fox's Ph. D. dissertation, Probability in the Plays of Eugene O'Neill, University of Chicago, 1953

Correspondence between Professor Fox and UNI administrators and colleagues concerning Humanities and other campus issues

Administrative evaluation of Professor Fox's performance

John Stuart tenure decision, 1956

Marjorie Campbell grievance, 1961 [RESTRICTED USE]

Faculty committee work; plans for showing tapes of Fox Humanities lectures

Plans for an essay contest honoring Professor Fox.

Box 2 - Addresses and essays

Academic tenure

Are we obligated to future others?

Bertrand Russell

Business ethics

Civil disobedience

Clapp essay and Fox response

Defense of the university

Dr. Zhivago

Education--troubles, troubles, troubles

Faculty activity survey

Focus on the future, #1-24

Four articles of a simple faith

Freedom is

Future of the individual

General Education in the university curriculum

Hallberg letter on campus unrest


In memoriam--Stanley G. Wood

Non-theistic stance

Obiter Scripta--several typescripts

Observations on the mind

Of moral sanctions

Phi Delta Kappa address on unions

Philosophy and Religion Department memo

Police Science Institute address on law and authority

Politics of doom

Present predicament of mankind

Present predicament of mankind--second report

Professional ethics and faculty responsibility

Rebuttal to criticism of Hoffmans dismissal

Role of general education in the college curriculum

Role of the university with regard to the present predicament of mankind

Science and patriotism

Secularization of politics

Sidney Hook and academic freedom

So God is dead--now what?

These troubled times

Time of troubles

Two dreams

Unions for professionals

University-community conflicts

Wartburg conference--human values

What commences at commencement?

Who's in command?

Box 3

Material relating to the production of A Faith in Reason, including some correspondence with J. W. Maucker and copies of Obiter Scripta columns.

Box 4

Photocopies of Obiter Scripta columns; Humanities lecture notes.

Processing Information

Material re-processed and finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson in June 2001. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear feet updated on September 14, 2017.

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