Dennis M. Kratz

School of Arts and Humanities

Office: JO 4.510D
Phone: 972-883-2984
Email: [email protected]

Areas of Specialization:
Medieval literature, classical tradition, translation, fantasy/science fiction

PhD, Medieval Latin, Harvard University, 1970
MA, Classical Philology, Harvard University, 1964
BA, Dartmouth College, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1963

Professional Accomplishments:
Dennis M. Kratz is dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and Ignacy and Celina Rockover Professor of Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas.

As dean, Kratz has fostered the development of an interdisciplinary curriculum that connects the arts with the humanities, critical with creative thought, theory with practice, and the University with the community. Enrollment in the School has more than doubled in the past 10 years:

  • In 2004, the School initiated a visionary academic program in Arts and Technology (ATEC) that in 2007, received the prestigious Innovation in Education award from The University of Texas System.
  • In 2008, the School introduced Emerging Media and Communication (EMAC), a second academic program dedicated to the convergence of the arts and humanities with advanced technology.
  • He has led the development of new degree programs (among them a program in Arts and Technology that has since become a separate School within the university); new research centers such as the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology; and the first Confucius Institute in Texas.

Kratz has greatly expanded international studies at UT Dallas. In November 2007 UT Dallas became the first university in Texas to house a Confucius Institute (part of a global network to promote the study of China's language, history and culture). The Confucius Institute, along with the UT Dallas Center for Translation Studies and the new Global Communication and Leadership Institute (established in partnership with Hanyang University of the Republic of Korea), plays a key role in the development of a global humanities program designed to foster international understanding.

His research emphasizes the continuation and transformation of the western “heroic” tradition from classical antiquity through medieval and modern literature. He studies the ways in which artists seek both to maintain the abiding qualities of that inheritance and to make it a vehicle for the expression of values more appropriate and meaningful for a contemporary audience. He has published four books: Mocking Epic: Waltharius, Alexandreis and the Problem of Christian Heroism (1980); Waltharius and Ruodlieb (1984); The Romances of Alexander (1991); and, with Dr. Abby Robinson Kratz, Effective Listening Skills (1994). He has also published numerous articles and reviews on subjects ranging from epic poetry and the changing nature of heroism, translation and translation theory, and Fantasy and Science Fiction. A translator of classical and medieval literature, Dr. Kratz is a co-editor of the journal Translation Review and has served as President of the American Literary Translators Association.

In addition to his scholarly interests, Kratz has published and lectured widely and conducted many workshops on educational issues.  A popular teacher and speaker, he received The University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award in 1992. In recognition of his efforts to enhance the role of the creative arts at UT Dallas and to establish cultural partnerships with the community, Kratz received the Richardson Arts Alliance's "Heart for the Arts Award" in 2008.

Dr. Kratz received his BA, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College in 1963.  He received the MA in Classical Studies (1964) and PhD in Medieval Latin (1970), both from Harvard University. Kratz taught at the Roxbury Latin School in Boston (1964-72) and The Ohio State University (1972-78), joining the UT Dallas faculty in 1978. From 1979-96, he was co-director of the UT Dallas Center for Translation Studies.  Beginning in 1979, Kratz was elected to four terms as Speaker of the Faculty Senate; and in 1996 he was named Dean of Undergraduate Studies. In that position he led a team of faculty, administrators and students to develop Collegium V, the University Honors Program.

Dennis Kratz is married to Abby Kratz, Associate Provost at UT Dallas; they have one son, Matthew Kratz, who received his MA in Humanities from UT Dallas.