Roger D. Hodge has been the editor of the Oxford American since September 2012.
Hodge began his journalism career as a freelance writer in 1989. After a lengthy detour through the thickets of academic philosophy, Hodge was hired by Harper’s Magazine as a fact checker in 1996. He joined the magazine’s acclaimed Readings section in 1997 and edited the section from 1999 to 2003. Under his leadership the Readings section strengthened its political and literary focus while continuing to publish outrageous comic and historically significant primary documents, as well as a judicious selection of the best poems and essays to be found in the little magazines and forthcoming books. Hodge also brought a new emphasis on contemporary art to the magazine, and came to treat the artwork published in each issue of the Readings section as a carefully curated exhibit of paintings and photographs drawn from galleries all around the world. In December 2000 Hodge orchestrated the relaunch of the magazine’s website, Harpers.org, and created the popular “Weekly Review,” a deadpan satire of the twenty-four hour news feed. In the fall of 2003 Hodge left the Readings section to devote more of his attention to long-form journalism. In December 2003 he oversaw another radical redesign of Harpers.org; that month he also began writing a monthly print column, “Findings,” a sardonic portrait of recent medical, scientific, and environmental developments. Hodge was named Deputy Editor of the magazine in November 2004 and became Editor in April 2006. He left the magazine in January 2010.
During his tenure as editor, Harper’s was a National Magazine Award finalist six times. Hodge was himself a National Magazine Award finalist for Reviews and Criticism in 2006. The magazine won the 2007 fiction Ellie for short stories by Daniel Mason, Alice Munro, and Steven Millhauser, and the cover story of Hodge’s final issue as editor of Harper’s, “The Guantánamo Suicides,” by Scott Horton, received the 2010 National Magazine Award for Reporting.
Hodge was born in 1967 and raised in Del Rio, Texas, where his family has been in the ranching business for five generations. He attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and eventually made his way to New York City in pursuit of a Ph.D. in philosophy at The New School for Social Research. Hodge received a master’s degree for a thesis on the logic of Aristotle’s metaphysics but abandoned his dissertation on Spinoza’s theory of freedom to work at Harper’s Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and their two sons.
An archive of Hodge’s writings for Harper’s Magazine is available at Harpers.org.
He is currently writing a book about life in West Texas.