Kenneth Richard Johnston is the Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of English in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. He earned a B.A. from Augustana College in 1959, a M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1961, a M.A. from Yale University in 1962, and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1966. He joined IU's faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor of English, was promoted to associate professor in 1970, and full professor in 1975. He also served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1973-1975, chair of the Department of English from 1994-2001, and was named Ruth N. Halls Professor of English in 2001. Johnston also taught at Colorado, Bucharest, and Georgetown universities. During most of his career, he focused his studies on Wordsworth; however, in recent years, he branched out to that of the British 1790s. Johnston retired from IU Bloomington in May 2002 with the title of professor emeritus.
Among many awards, Johnston received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1991-1992 and served as a Distinguished Fulbright Fellow in the United Kingdom in 2005. He served as a Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellow (UK) in 2006-2007 and 2009-2011, as well as a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities at the University of Edinburg in 1998, and also received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Johnston was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award from Indiana University in 1973 and was named a Distinguished Scholar by Keats-Shelley Association of America in 2016.