Scott Abbott

Scott Abbott was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1949 and raised in Farmington, New Mexico, an oil and gas boom town where annual summer work as a roughneck financed his college education. After earning a B.A. and M.A. in German Studies at Brigham Young University, he finished a Ph.D. in German Literature at Princeton University in 1979. He taught in German departments at Vanderbilt University and Brigham Young University from 1981-1999. In 1999, he became the director of a fledgling interdisciplinary studies program at Utah Valley University.

With Yugoslav/Serbian novelist Žarko Radaković, Abbott has published two books about travel and literary exploration in the former Yugoslavia and then in war-torn Serbia and Bosnia: Repetitions and Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary (punctum books, 2013 and 2014). A third co-authored book, We: A Friendship, will be published by Belgrade’s Laguna Press in Spring 2021.

Originating as a column in Catalyst Magazine and co-authored with botanist Sam Rushforth, Wild Rides and Wildflowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes was published by Torrey House Press in 2014. In 2016, Immortal For Quite Some Time, written as a series of “fraternal meditations” after his brother’s AIDS-related death, was released by the University of Utah Press.

Abbott has published two works of literary criticism: Fictions of Freemasonry: Freemasonry and the German Novel (Wayne State UP 1991) and, with Lyn Bennett, The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire (Texas A&M UP, 2017).

His translations include Peter Handke’s A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia (Viking, 1997), Handke’s play Voyage by Dugout: the Play of the Film of the War (PAJ, 2012), Handke’s lengthy ode To Duration (Last Books, 2015), and the documentary film Peter Handke: In the Woods, May Be Late by Corinna Belz (translation for the subtitles; Zero One Films, 2016). With geneticist Daniel Fairbanks, he published a Darwinian translation of Gregor Mendel’s “Experiments with Plant Hybrids” in 2016 (Genetics).

Abbott’s work as co-president of the BYU chapter of the American Association of University Professors led to a 1998 AAUP censure of the BYU administration for egregious violations of academic freedom. Essays written during those years will appear in 2021 as a book with By Common Consent Press: Dwelling as a Stranger in the Promised Land, Personal Encounters with Mormon Institutions. He is also a personal essayist, jazz critic, and art critic, with work published in FlugascheThe EventSalt Lake ObserverCatalyst MagazineSalt Flats AnnualsaltfrontThe American ScholarLiterary TravelerThe Bloomsbury ReviewOpen Letters MonthlyThe New York Review of BooksSunstone, and Dialogue.

He and his wife, historian Lyn Bennett, live under the shadow of Santaquin Peak in Woodland Hills, Utah, from which vantage point he has fostered a photographic relationship with the clouds over Utah Valley.

Work

Bibliography

We: A Friendship. With Žarko Radaković. Forthcoming Spring 2021 from Laguna Press in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dwelling as a Stranger in the Promised Land: Personal Encounters with Mormon Institutions. Forthcoming Spring 2021 from By Common Consent Press.

The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire. With Lyn Bennett. Texas A&M University Press, November 2017.

Immortal for Quite Some Time: Fraternal Meditations. University of Utah Press, 2016.

Wild Rides, Wildflowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes. With Sam Rushforth. Torrey House Press, 2014.

Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary. Co-author Žarko Radaković. punctum books, 2014.
Originally published in Serbo-Croatian as Vampiri + Razumni recnik. Stubovi kulture, 2008.

Repetitions. Co-author Žarko Radaković. punctum books, 2013. Originally published in Serbo-Croatian as Ponavljanja. Vreme-knjige, 1994.

Fictions of Freemasonry: Freemasonry and the German Novel. Wayne State University Press, 1991.

Links

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