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Blacklit Garden Elementary class photo with students and teacher.

D. Christopher Gabbard

Associate Professor of English

Phone: (904) 620-2273

Office: Building 8, Room 2215

Faculty Bio

Areas of Expertise

  • Disability Studies in the Humanities
  • Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Narrative Medicine


Ph.D. -- Stanford University 1999

BA and MA -- San Francisco State University


Chris Gabbard grew up in Palo Alto, California, and for a long period worked in and then ran a retail irrigation-supply business owned by his family. From 1983 to 1989 he was the publisher and chief editor of The Short Story Reviewthe first journal to publish work by Chinese-American writer Amy Tan. He married Ilene Chazan in 1992, and in 1999 he earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University in English literature. He now teaches English at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In 2012 he won the Disability Resource Center Professor Empowerment Award, and in 2017 he garnered the Sigma Tau Delta Faculty Appreciation Award, in recognition of his Outstanding Commitment and Dedication to the Art of Teaching.


It was while wrapping up his doctoral dissertation at Stanford in 1999 that his son August was born with significant and multiple impairments. The event sparked his interest in Disability Studies in the Humanities. His memoir A Life Beyond Reason: A Father's Memoir grew out of an essay published in 2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education. August died in 2013; video and pictures of him can be seen at A Boy Named August . Chris and Ilene have one surviving child, Clio. He uses the music site Augustslist to fundraise for the DLC: Nurse & Learn in Jacksonville, Florida.