Rodger and Carol Anita Tarr, combined, taught more than 50 years at ISU.

Rodger came to the University in 1969, full of vim and vigor and retired full of vim but with less vigor in 2002. Anita earned her D.A. in English from ISU and joined the faculty full-time in 1994, committed to teaching and research in the field of Children’s Literature. Rodger was named a Distinguished Professor in 1990.

Both believed strongly in ISU’s singular motto—“And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche”—and were dedicated to the integration of research into teaching. The Tarrs will be forever grateful to ISU for its unwavering support of their research.

Rodger gained an international reputation for his work in Victorian literature—especially that on Thomas Carlyle—then later for his books on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. He continues his commitment to scholarship and is an advisory editor to the Hemingway Letters project.

Anita has published widely in Children’s Literature and related fields, having written prize-winning articles on Virginia Wolfe and Robert Cormier, as well as essays on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Scott O’Dell and children’s poetry. Her central interest is J. M. Barrie, highlighted by a co-edited book on Peter Pan. Anita continues to write reviews and articles.

The Tarrs live on an island near Beaufort, South Carolina, where they enjoy nature’s soaring bounty. They can be contacted by email (Rodger:; Anita: or at 32 Spring Island Dr., Callawassie Island, Okatie, SC 29909.