Donald Ault (PhD, 1968, University of Chicago) taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Vanderbilt University before coming to Florida in 1988. In 1972–74 Professor Ault initiated curriculum changes at Berkeley by creating English 176 (“Literature and Popular Culture”) and English 177 (“Literature and Philosophy”). At UF he taught courses in Romanticism, in comics, animation, and movie serials, in literary theory, in William Blake, and in literature and science.
Professor Ault wrote Visionary Physics: Blake’s Response to Newton (1974) and Narrative Unbound: Re-Visioning William Blake’s The Four Zoas (1987), co-edited Critical Paths: Blake and the Argument of Method (1987), and edited Carl Barks: Conversations (2003). He served as consultant and contributor to The Carl Barks Library of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge (1983–90) and The Barks Library in Color (1992–98). His work appeared in journals such as Studies in Romanticism, Modern Philology, Eighteenth-Century Studies, The Wordsworth Circle, The Keats-Shelley Journal, and The Comics Journal, as well as in various essay collections, including Comics & Culture: Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to Comics (2000). Professor Ault was executive producer and editorial supervisor for the videotape production The Duck Man: An Interview with Carl Barks (1996). A new and expanded version of his first book (Visionary Physics and Other Essays: Blake Newton, and Incommensurable Textuality ) appeared in 2003.
With the help of UF students, especially John F. Ronan, Professor Ault organized the first two annual installments of “University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels” – “The Will Eisner Symposium” (2002) and “Underground(s)” (2003). He was Founder and Editor Emeritus of the Department’s open access journal ImageTexT, dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of comics and related media.