Douglas O. Cumming Associate Professor of Journalism & Mass Communications Emeritus

Douglas O. Cumming
Curriculum Vitae

Prof. Cumming earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 as a Freedom Forum Fellow. He has taught at Loyola University in New Orleans and at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., literary journalism and media history. Prof. Cumming is past chair of the History Division of AEJMC. Previously, he worked for newspapers and magazines in Raleigh, Providence and Atlanta for 26 years, winning a George Polk Award and Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. Here is his blog.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D., Mass Communication, August 2002
Brown University, M.A., American Civilization, May 1980
Bennington College, B.A., Literature, June 1974


Literary journalism, literary journalists and narrative non-fiction writing.
History: Southern, American intellectual, media, civil rights, religion, education.


Intro News Reporting, Beat Reporting, “The Magazine: Past, Present and Future,” The Press and Civil Rights, feature writing, journalism history, multi-media international journalism (in Urbino, Italy, and Armagh, N. Ireland)

Selected Publications

Review of “Deep South Dispatch,” Journalism History, May 2019.

“Ink and Blood: Dueling as an Occupational Hazard in Southern Journalism,” Journalism History Spring 2018(44:1), 39-48, and presented at AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Tuscaloosa, Ala., March 2006.

“ ‘So Splendid it Hurts’,” Journalism History, Spring 2014 (40,1), pp. 59-64 (by invitation).

The Lexington Letters: Two Centuries of Water Under the Bridge, Mariner Media, November 2011.

The Southern Press: Literary Legacies and the Challenge of Modernity, Northwestern University Press, Visions of the American Press series, 2009.

“Foreword,” in Bylines: Writings from the American South, 1963-97, by Joe Cumming, Authorhouse, 2010.

“Tom Wolfe, Reporter: His Relationship to Old New Journalism and New New Journalism,” Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review, Spring, 2007, and online at Journal of Magazine & New Media Research, Fall, 2006.

“To Reckon with Robert E. Lee,” in Salvation South, March 2, 2023.

Professional Experience

Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Va. (Fall 2003-Spring 2022)

Communications Department Loyola University New Orleans, 2002-03

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 1990-2000

Southpoint monthly, Atlanta, Ga., 1989-90

Providence Journal-Bulletin, Providence, R.I., 1976-89

Raleigh Times, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., 1974-75

Atlantic Monthly, ms. reader, Boston, Mass., Jan.-Feb. 1974

Academy Theatre, writer-in-residence, Atlanta, Ga., 1971

Fellowships & Awards

Freedom Forum Fellowship, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2000-02

CASE Fellowship, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass., April 1999

Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, religion, University of Maryland, College Park, Md., December 1993

Nieman Fellowship, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 1986-87

Unity Award; New England Associated Press News Executives (1st Place-Features); United Press International New England Newspaper Award, 1986

George Polk Award, Metropolitan Reporting, Providence Journal-Bulletin, 1982

Author of the Year Award in poetry, Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists, with co-author Joe Cumming and illustrator Walter Cumming, for book Family Secret, 1983