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Dyer, Carolyn



Carolyn Dyer was a professor of journalism at the University of Iowa for 38 years. After earning her bachelor's degree, Dyer worked as a newspaper and radio reporter for six years in Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin, before earning a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dyer completed postgraduate work at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and later taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Colorado State University. She joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Iowa in 1978, where she developed The Iowa Guide: Scholarly Journals in Mass Communication and Related Fields, and saw her research published in Journalism Quarterly, The Georgetown Law Journal, and Journalism History.

Dyer's research initially focused on nineteenth-century journalism, and later on news coverage of rape and of mental illness. Dyer received press for her hand in the discovery that Mildred Wirt Benson was the ghostwriter behind the first Nancy Drew books, under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. She went on to organize and chair the first conference on Nancy Drew, held at the University of Iowa in 1993. Inspired by the conference she co-edited Rediscovering Nancy Drew, a collection of discussions and essays from the event in 1994. The next decade saw her crowned the “Nancy Drew Queen” and invited to Nancy Drew events around the country and Sweden.

Dyer retired from the University of Iowa in 2009. She gained the title Professor emerita and continuing to consult with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the next ten years. She passed away in the fall of 2020.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Carolyn Dyer papers

Identifier: IWA0884

Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Iowa and Nancy Drew scholar.

Dates: 1905-2016