Southern literary journal The Oxford American has named Roger D. Hodge as editor in chief, less than two months after its founding editor, Marc Smirnoff, was forced out over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Hodge, a Texas native, has had substantial experience in the world of highbrow literary magazines, having served as the editor of Harper’s from 2006 until 2010. Since then, Hodge has penned a book titled The Mendacity of Hope and contributed to magazines like Men’s Journal and Texas Monthly.
The New York Times first reported on the bizarre circumstances surrounding Smirnoff’s firing from The Oxford American earlier this summer. According to the Times, after a female intern accused Smirnoff of inappropriate behavior (such as forced hand-holding and suggesting that they go to his “favorite make-out spot”) while on a car ride back from a company retreat, the magazine’s board launched an investigation that turned up a long list of additional harassment reports from other interns. When the board fired Smirnoff along with his girlfriend and fellow editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald on July 15, the pair launched a public Web campaign to defend Smirnoff. But rather than denying the accusations, the couple argued that Smirnoff's actions hadn’t actually been harassment.
Hodge told the Times that he had intentionally avoided following news of Smirnoff’s firing and that he had “nothing but respect for what Marc accomplished at the magazine.”