Dr. Joseph Milner

Professor Emeritus

Email: milner@wfu.edu
Phone: 336-758-5525

Dr. Joseph Milner was Professor of English Education at Wake Forest University and was, for 28 years, the Chairperson of the Education Department. He has served as Director of the Advanced Placement Summer Institute and Director of the North Carolina Literacy Project at Wake Forest University. During over forty years of participation in the work of NCTE, he has served as Chair of the Conference on English Education, Chair of the International Assembly, Co-chair of the Assembly on American Literature, and a member of NCTE’s Executive Committee. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of eight books and numerous articles on English education, children’s literature, aesthetics, linguistics, and American literature. For his years of service to English education on a national, state, and local level, he received the North Carolina English Teachers Association Lifetime Achievement Award and was the co-receipient of the Ragan-Rubin Award for Literary Achievement with his wife and co-author, Lucy Milner. For his 40 years of work in the field of education in North Carolina, he received the state’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Longleaf Pine.

Academic Appointments

Professor Emeritus, Department of Education


AB, English, Davidson College
M. A. and Ph. D., English, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Postdoctoral Study, Harvard University

Past Professional Experiences

Chair of Department of Education, 1978-2006  
National Humanities Faculty, 1983-1995
State Director of the North Carolina Writing Project (eight sites), 1983-1994
Chair, National Writing Project delegation to the International Assembly Annual Conference in Melbourne Australia, 1990
Teacher and Curriculum Chair at the North Carolina Governor’s School West, 1974-1980
Director of the North Carolina Governor’s School East, 1999-2003
Chair, Board of Directors, National Paideia Center, 2013-2018
Order of the Long Leaf Pine, 2013
Ragan-Rubin Award for Literary Achievement, 2017
North Carolina English Teachers’ Association: Executive Board, 1976-1994
Editor of North Carolina English Teacher: 1979-1994.
National Council of Teachers of English: Chair of International Assembly, 2002-2004
Chair of Conference on English Education, 2005-2007

English Methods
Children’s Literature
Adolescent Literature
Six Great Ideas
Great Children’s Books
Engaging Research in Secondary Education

Bridging English, Editions 1-6, Pearson.

“Building Discretionary Authority in a Teacher Education Program” with R. Scott Baker. (2016). Action in Teacher Education. 38(2), 91-103.

“Shifts in Teaching Stances in AP.” (2016). Journal of Gifted Education.

“English in the Eighties: A Global Projection.” (1981). Kappan, 62(6), 415-416.

Stevens’ The Good Man Has No Shape: ‘The Man With the Blue Guitar’ in a Minor Key.” (1980). Wallace Stevens Journal, 4 (2).

“What Are The Implications of Neil Postman’s Teaching As A Conserving Activity for English Teachers?” (1980). English Journal. 69(9), 78. 

National Humanities Faculty Summer Institute: ”Teaching Supported by Recent Research.”

National Conference, NCTE Speakers Bureau, Fargo, ND, June 2013.

International Assembly Annual Conference, Melbourne Australia, 1989.

“Moral Development Concepts Open Up Complex Character: English Teaching and the Brain” with Denny Wolfe, NCTE Annual Conference, San Diego, November 1986.

“Engaging Sudden Fiction.” NCTE Annual Conference, Minneapolis, November 2014.