J. Edwin Culbertson


Fulbright Award (1952)
Fulbright Award


James Edwin Culbertson taught speech and theater at Indiana University from 1947-1970. He retired at age fifty-eight years and was named Associate Professor Emeritus of Speech.

Culbertson's formal education for his many-faceted teaching career was at Oklahoma A&M. earning a B.S. in 1934, an M.A. in 1935, and an Ed.D. in 1946. In 1937 he received an award after studying at the Citizen House School of Theatre, Bath, England. He completed post-doctoral work at the University of Southern California and the University of Wyoming, and he attended a phonetic institute at the University of Edinburgh.

Culbertson's on-going, self-education for classroom enrichment left its mark on his career. More than 500 students a year in his Theatre Appreciation course were privy to his first-hand descriptions of historical and contemporary theaters across the globe, with most lectures illustrated by slides from his travel photographs.

He was an avid traveler, always mindful of both study and appreciation. His travels too him to Africa, continental Europe, the British Isles, Haiti, and the Philippines. Those who were closest to him knew that his favorite destinations were to Greece, England, Yugoslavia, and to Italy where he lived for a number of years after he retired. He lovingly restored a limestone mansion in Ellettsville, Indiana.

Before joining the Indiana University faculty, Culbertson taught in high school, at three other colleges, and for the Air Corps. He spent nearly a decade in Rome after his retirement, and returned to the States to live in Monroe, Louisiana. He passed away in May of 1981 at the M. D. Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas.