Evan Carton is founder and director of the University of Texas Humanities Institute
, which fosters collaborations between university faculty and local communitites via public programs such as the Mayor's Book Club, Writing Austin's Lives, Living Newspapers, Free Minds Project and Community Sabbatical program for non-profit professionals.
Evan Carton joined the University of Texas at Austin English Department faculty in 1978 and currently holds the Joan Negley Kelleher Centennial Professorship in Rhetoric and Composition. He is the author of two books on 19th century American literature, one on the history of 20th century literary criticism and theory, and, most recently, a narrative non-fiction account of the life and times of the abolitionist John Brown,
entitled Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America (New York: Free Press, 2006). In 2001 he founded the University of Texas Humanities Institute, and served as its director until 2009. His current research project--an exploration of charismatic intellectual, religious, and political vocation in America, from the early 19th century to the present--centers around the figures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joseph Smith, and John Brown.