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Neumeyer, Peter F. (1929-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Neumeyer, Peter F. (1929-)

Historical Note:

Peter F. Neumeyer was born in Germany in 1929.  Fleeing the Nazis, he and his family emigrated to the United States in 1936.  After receiving his undergraduate degree, master’s degree, and doctorate (in 1963) in English at UC Berkeley, Neumeyer taught at Harvard University until 1969.  It was there that Neumeyer taught one of the first literary courses on children's books in North America.  Besides Harvard, Neumeyer has taught at State University of New York (Stony Brook) and West Virginia University.  He has taught summer courses on children’s literature at Columbia University.  Additionally, Neumeyer has lectured and taught in Sweden and Finland on that subject.   

Neumeyer came to San Diego State University in 1978 and retired in 1993.  At SDSU, Neumeyer developed in the English Department what has become the largest Children's Literature program in North America.  Neumeyer has published extensively on children's literature topics, especially E.B. White, including The Annotated Charlotte's Web.  Other authors that Neumeyer has written about include Franz Kafka, Tove Jansson, Richard Kennedy, and Randall Jerrell.

In addition to his work at the university, Neumeyer collaborated with illustrator and friend Edward Gorey on three books, the Donald and the… series.  He was also a poet, and published numerous poems in literary journals.  After retirement from SDSU, Neumeyer was a prolific reviewer of children's books for various publications including Prodigy, Mothering Magazine, Parent's Choice, San Diego Home and Garden, and the Los Angeles Times.  In 2005, he received the Children's Literature Association's Anne Deveraux Jordan Award for his contributions to the field.

Sources: "Peter Neumeyer Wins Lifetime Achievement Award."  SDSUniverse.  2005.  San Diego State University.  May 22, 2008.
Note Author: Frank Sweeney

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