Nebraska Authors

Robert E. Knoll

Born 1922 Liberty, NE (USA)

Died 2009-01-07
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Knoll's parents graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1910. He served in the Army (in Japan) after earning his undergraduate degree and before attending the University of Minnesota's doctorate program. He came to the University of Nebraska in 1950. In 1969, Knoll started UNL's unconventional Centennial College program which lasted about a decade. He retired from the University of Nebraska in 1990.

Famed as a teacher and mentor, his book on Weldon Kees, Weldon Kees and the Midcentury Generation: Letters, 1935-1955, has been credited with remaking Kees's reputation as a poet and artist. He was a pioneer in understanding the work of Nebraska writer Wright Morris. Knoll's support for Bernice Slote and Sue Rosowski, and his work with the organizations of Cather and Sandoz, was important in revivals of interest in Willa Cather and Mari Sandoz.


Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Lincoln, NE

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Literary criticism and explication; Weldon Kees; Literary History


Graduated from Omaha North, 1940
Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1943, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Master of Arts Degree, 1947, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Ph.D., 1950, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


English Professor

Places Worked

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE


Nebraska 150 Books honor for Prairie University, 2017
Was named Nebraska Professor of the Year, 1989
Has held the Holmes and Varner chairs in the UNL English Department
Woods Fellow, Warburg Institute, University of London, 1959-60
Fulbright Lecturer, University of Graz, Austria, 1966-67
Named 'Distinguished Teacher' by UNL Foundation, 1968
Alumni Achievement Award, UNL, 1987
Doc Elliott Award, 1997
Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s Literary Heritage Award, 2009


University of Nebraska: A Timeless Experience. 1992. (photographs by Tom Tidball)
Experiment at Nebraska: The First Two Years of a Cluster College. 1972. (with Robert D. Brown)
Prairie University: A History of the University of Nebraska. 1995.
The Golden Years: Willa Cather... (video)
McAlmon and the Lost Generation: A Self Portrait. 1962. (Edited and Introduction by Robert E. Knoll)
Weldon Kees and the Midcentury Generation: Letters, 1935-1955. 1986.

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Robert E. Knoll

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