Professor Justus, whose field of expertise encompasses 19th- and 20th-century United States literature as well as the regional literature of the Southern states, has been deemed one of our most successful and admired teachers, a writer of lucid, graceful prose and author of a prize-winning study of one of America's most significant mid-century writers.
Justus was a past president of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature and past chair of the Contemporary American Literature group of the Modern Language Association and of the American Literature Section of the MLA.
Professor Justus was also appreciated equally for his contributions to the lives of his students of American literature. Among his admirers are 20 former graduate students, whose dissertations he directed. Today some of them can be found teaching and spreading their former mentor's scholarly reputation in such schools as his alma mater, Tennessee: the universities of Notre Dame, Idaho, Arkansas, and Iowa State; Kenyon and Wesleyan colleges.