Professor Emeritus of English
Murray State University
University of Arizona: B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967), Ph.D. in English (1971)
Murray State University 1976-2003; U. of New Orleans 1970-76
Administration (all at Murray State University):
Chair, Department of English, 1994-1998
Director of Graduate Studies in English, 1982-1986
Assistant Dean of the College, 1980-1982
Murder Most Fair: The Appeal of Mystery Fiction (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Associated University Presses, 2000).
Sisters: Relation and Rescue in Nineteenth-Century British Novels and Paintings (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Associated University Presses, 1995).
Hamlet in My Mind's Eye (University of Georgia Press, 1989). Winner of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Studies Award.
Engaging English Art: Entering the Work in Two Centuries of English Painting and Poetry (University of Alabama Press, 1987).
The Poem in Question. With Robert E. Bourdette, Jr. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983).
“On Not Being E. B. White” forthcoming in The Kenyon Review (Fall 2010)
“On the Road Again,” forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly .
“My Next Read” The Missouri Review (Summer 2009), 159-166.
“Communing with the Dead” The Bayou Review (Spring 2009), 22-26.
“Notebooks,” Southern Humanities Review (Winter 2009), No. 1, 21-26
“Agonists of the Contemporary Memoir,” The Missouri Review (Summer 2008), 174-87
“A Retiree Reads Proust and Montaigne,” Harvard Review 34 (2008), 90-103
“Seeing Mexico” New Madrid (Winter 2008), 114-121
“Location, Location, Location” The Briar Cliff Review, vol. 18 (2006):70-74 (selected by Robert Atwan as one of the “Notable Essays for 2006”).
“Watching Birds and Stars” Birding vol. 38, no. 4 (July/August 2006):70-72.
“The Victims and the Furies in American Courts” The Humanist (Jan/Feb 2006), 19-23.
“Selling My Library” at The Missouri Review online archive:
“Classical Mysteries,” in The Guide to United States Popular Culture, edited by Ray B. Browne and Pat Browne (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2001): 177-78.
“The Detective As Other: The Detective versus the Other.” Diversity and Detective Fiction. Ed. Kathleen Gregory Klein. Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1999. 147-60.
“Atmosphere” 28-29, “A. E. W. Mason” 280, “Shakespeare”” 407-9, and “The Paradox of Violent Entertainment” 481-82. The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. Ed. Rosemary Herbert. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
"Godwin's Caleb Williams: Showing the Strains in Detective Fiction," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 10:2 (1998): 203-220. Read at the Eleventh Annual DeBartolo Conference on Eighteenth-Century Literature, Tampa, February 1997, and the South Central Modern Language Association, Austin, Texas, October 1993.
"Inside the Murderer," Studies in Popular Culture 19:3 (1997): 49-63. Read at South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, November 1993.
"Women as Signs in Mystery Stories." Semiotics 1994. Edited by C. W. Spinks and John Deely (New York: Peter Lang, 1995): 301-306. Proceedings of the 1994 Conference of the Semiotics Society of America, Philadelphia, October 22.
"Hamlet: Madness and the Eye of the Reader." In Dionysus in Literature: Essays on Literary Madness. Ed. Branimir M. Rieger. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1994. 101-112. This is a reprint of sections from Hamlet in My Mind's Eye (University of Georgia Press, 1989) and was read as "Madness in Hamlet" at the Popular Culture Association meeting, Atlanta, April 1986.
“Reform, Rescue, and the Sisterhoods of Middlemarch." Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 21 (AMS Press, 1993): 89-110. First read as "Middlemarch and the Limits of Reform" at the Southeastern Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, New Orleans, April 1991.
"Empowering the Sister: Female Rescue and Authorial Resistance in The Heart of Midlothian." College Literature 20.2 (June 1993): 58-69. An early draft was read at the Midwest Modern Language Association meeting, Kansas City, November 1990.
"First Sisters in the British Novel: Charlotte Lennox to Susan Ferrier." The Significance of Sibling Relationships in Literature. Ed. JoAnna Stephens Mink and Janet Doubler Ward. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. 98-109. Parts of this chapter were read as "Where Are the Sisters? A Question about Strategies in the Eighteenth-Century Novel" and "Gender and the Reader in Pamela and Clarissa" at the South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, Albuquerque, March, 1990; "Susan Ferrier's Marriage (1818) and Education" at the Western Kentucky University Women's Studies Conference, Bowling Green, Kentucky, September, 1992; and "Astell, Wollstonecraft, Macaulay, and Fictional Sisters of the Nineties: The Novel of Education as Feminist Polemic" at the Midwestern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, Toledo, October, 1992.
"The Appeal of Mystery Stories." Clues 14.2 (Fall/Winter 1993): 63-80. First delivered as a public lecture sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers' Bureau and delivered by invitation at the Paducah Public Library, February 28, 1993.
"On Reading Hamlet for the First Time," College Literature 19.1 (Feb. 1992): 48-59. Originally a public lecture given at Willamette University, March, 1991, by invitation of Willamette University's Senior Seminars in the Humanities series.
Reprint: "Keats, Stevens, and Picasso: Designing Audio-Visual Poetry Presentations." Poets' Perspectives: Reading, Writing, and Teaching Poetry, ed. Charles R. Duke and Sally Ann Jacobsen (Portsmouth, N.H.: Boynton/Cook Heinemann, 1992), 202-209. This book is a new version of Reading and Writing Poetry: Successful Approaches for the Student and Teacher, ed. Charles R. Duke and Sally Ann Jacobsen (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1983), where my article appeared on pp. 229-237. First read as "Audio-Visual Adjunct Presentations in Interdisciplinary Humanities Courses," National Association for Core Curriculum meeting, Evanston, Illinois, October, 1980.
"Sexual Difference and the Underclass: George Meredith's Rhoda Fleming and Edwin Landseer's The Pretty Horsebreaker," Yearbook of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Fine Arts 2 (1990): 141-158.
"Addison, Blake, Coram, and the London Foundling Hospital: Rhetoric as Philanthropy and Art." Centennial Review 34 (1990): 540-566. Parts of this article were read as "Emma Brownlow King and Everyday Heroism" at the Western Kentucky Women's Studies Conference, Bowling Green, September 1990, and as "Engagement in the Art of the Foundling Hospital" at the Southern Conference on British Studies meeting with the Southern Historical Association, New Orleans, November 1987.
"New Directions in Shakespeare Criticism." The Shakespeare Newsletter (Fall-Winter 1988): 38-39. This was a report on the National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on Shakespeare criticism I attended at the Folger Library, Washington D.C., June-July 1988.
"Augustus Leopold Egg." Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia, ed. Sally Mitchell (New York: Garland, 1988): 514.
"The Sport of American-Bashing in Modern English Authors." Studies in the Novel 20 (1988): 316-22. Parts of this article were read at the March 1987 meeting of the Popular Culture Association in Montreal, at the Western Literature Association meeting in Lincoln, October 1987, and at the Carolinas Symposium on British Studies, Boone, North Carolina, October 1982.
"'To what base uses we may return': Class and Morality in Hamlet 5.1." Hamlet Studies 9 (1987): 78-85. First read as "'A Fine Revolution' or None at All: Act V of Hamlet" at the Kentucky Philological Association, Louisville, March 1987.
"The Hounding of Baskerville: Allusion and Apocalypse in Eco's The Name of the Rose." Naming the Rose: Essays on Eco's "The Name of the Rose", ed. M. Thomas Inge, foreword by Umberto Eco (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1988): 65-76. First read at the Popular Culture Association in the South, Charleston, South Carolina, September 1985.
"A Note on the Theme of Collective Guilt in Western American Literature." Heritage of the Great Plains 20 (1987): 9-13. First read at the Western Literature Association meeting, Reno, October 1984.
"The Whig Sublime and James Thomson." English Language Notes 24 (1986): 27-35. Read at the South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, Houston, March 1977.
"An Autobiography Exercise." Exercise Exchange 32 (1986): 23-25.
"Edmund Burke and the Two Revolutions." Recovering Literature 14 (1986): 71-86. Read in the University of New Orleans Public Lecture Series, February 1976.
"Lessing on Time and Space in the Sister Arts: The Artist's Refutation." Lessing and the Enlightenment, ed. Alexej Ugrinsky (New York: Greenwood, 1986): 13-24. Read at the South Central Modern Language Association meeting, Austin, October 1981; the South Atlantic Modern Language Association meeting, Louisville, November 1981; and at "Lessing and the Enlightenment: an Interdisciplinary Conference in Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Death of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1781," Hofstra University, November 1981.
"The Reader as Whoremonger: A Phenomenological Approach to Rossetti's 'Jenny'." The Victorian Newsletter No. 70 (Fall 1986): 5-7. Read at the Kentucky Philological Association meeting, Murray, March 1983.
"James Thomson and the Vocabulary of the Sublime." The McNeese Review 31 (1984-1986): 50-57. Read at the South Central Modern Language Association meeting, Memphis, October 1980.
"Sailing through The Secret Sharer: the End of Conrad's Story." Massachusetts Studies in English 10 (Fall 1985): 102-109. Read at the Kentucky Philological Association meeting, Covington, March 1979.
"Johnson's Tragedy of Human Wishes." English Studies 63 (1982): 410-17. Read at the South Central Modern Language Association meeting, Fort Worth, November 1973.
"The Rainbow in Millais' The Blind Girl." The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 3 (1982: 16-27. Read at the Carolinas Symposium on British Studies, Boone, North Carolina, October 1980.
"James Thomson and the Prescriptive Sublime." South Central Bulletin: Studies by Members of SCMLA 40 (Winter 1980): 138-142. Read at the South Central Modern Language Association meeting, New Orleans, October 1979.
"Richard Bentley's Edition of Paradise Lost (1732): A Bibliography." Milton Quarterly 14 (1980): 49-54. With Robert E. Bourdette, Jr.
"Hogarth's A Rake's Progress and the Techniques of Verse Satire." Studies in Iconography 5 (1979): 159-72. Read at the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, Knoxville, April 1975.
"The Sun in Transition: Turner's Mortlake Terrace." Proceedings of HELIOS: From Myth to Solar Energy, vol I. (1978): 54-62. The conference took place in Albany, New York, March 1978.
"The Deceitful Hamlet." The Upstart Crow 1 (1978): 41-52.
"The Enchained Heart and the Puzzled Biographer: Johnson's Life of Savage." The New Rambler 18 (1977): 33-40.
"The Imagery of Addison's Cato and the Whig Sublime." CEA Critic 38 (1976): 23-25.
"Reclamation, Revulsion, and Steele's The Conscious Lovers." Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 14 (1975): 23-30.
"Frost's 'Aim' and the Problem of Interpretation." English Record 25 (1974): 53-63. With Robert E. Bourdette, Jr. Read at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Anaheim, April 1974.
"Rhyme in Samson Agonistes." Milton Quarterly 8 (1974): 4-6. Read at the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast meeting, Spokane, November 1970.
"Some Alternatives to the Freshman Composition Textbook." English Record 23 (1972): 47-53.
"Plot Unity in Southerne's Oroonoko." Xavier University Studies 11 (1972): 13-17.
"James Thomson and Addison's 'Letter from Italy'." Notes and Queries 19 (1972): 366-67.
"Providence and Constraint in Two Lillo Tragedies." English Studies 52 (1971): 231-36.
Review of Joseph Kestner's Mythology and Misogyny: The Social Discourse of Nineteenth-Century British Classical-Subject Painting (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989). Nineteenth Century Studies 6 (1992): 82-86.
Reviews of Hamlet's Fictions by Maurice Charney (New York: Routledge, 1988) and Hamlet: Film, Television, and Audio Performance by Bernice Kliman (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1988). Shakespeare Quarterly 41 (1990): 391-94.
Review of Images of Victorian Womanhood in English Art by Susan Casteras (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1987). Nineteenth Century Studies 3 (1989): 85-89.
Review of Unreal City: Urban Experience in Modern European Literature and Art, ed. Edward Timms and David Kelley (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985). South Central Review (Fall 1986): 152-53.
Review of Decoys and Other Stories by Ken Smith (Lewiston: Confluence Press, 1985). Crazyhorse 31 (1986): 81-82.
Review of Hemingway: Expressionist Artist by Raymond S. Nelson (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1979). The Hemingway Review 4 (1985): 55-56.
Review of Images of Romanticism: Verbal and Visual Affinities, ed. Karl Kroeber and William Walling (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978). Arizona Quarterly 36 (1980): 279-82.
Conference Presentations and Public Lectures:
“Eavan Boland and the Convergence of Academic Poetry with the Popular,” Popular Culture Association, Toronto, March, 2002.
“Jakob Arjouni’s Noir Novels and the Negotiation of Cultural Borders,” 20th-Century Literature Conference, Louisville, February, 2002.
“‘And would you consider this a particularly stern chase?’:Humor in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin Series,” Popular Culture Association, Philadelphia, April, 2001.
“The Thematics of the Flitcraft Episode in Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon,” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Vancouver, B.C., October, 2001. I also proposed and chaired the special session at which I delivered this paper: “Mystery and Detective Fiction in the Western U.S. and Canada.
“Mystery as Hypertext: Poe’s ‘Mystery of Marie Roget’,” co-authored with Matt Cohen, Popular Culture Association in the South, Nashville, October, 2000.
“An ‘X-Ray Picture of a Detective Story’: Poe’s ‘The Man of the Crowd’ and the Conventions of Detective Fiction,” Popular Culture Association, New Orleans, April, 2000.
“Quotidian Epiphanies in the Poetry of Eavan Boland,” panel on the subject of “The Lost Land—Memory, Imagination, and the Writer,” Jesse Stuart Writing Symposium, Murray, Kentucky, April, 2000.
“Remaking the Maltese Falcon,” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association, Albuquerque, February, 2000.
“Poe and the Appeal of Detective Fiction,” International Edgar Allan Poe Conference, Richmond, Virginia, October 1999.
“Defamiliarization as Satiric Technique and the Difficulties of Filming Eighteenth-Century Satire” South Central Modern Language Association, Memphis, October 1999. I also proposed and chaired the special session in which I delivered this paper, “Filming the Eighteenth Century.”
"The Lady Detective and the Critics," Popular Culture Association, San Diego, April 1999.
"Some Cultural Implications of Genre in Austen Adaptation," South Central Modern Language Association Special Session: "Jane Takes Our Measure: Austen Films as Cultural Critiques, New Orleans, November 1998.
"Madness and Narrative in Part II of Don Quixote," co-authored with Matthew Cohen. Popular Culture Association, San Antonio, March 1997.
"Diversifying Humanities at Murray State," "Breaking Barriers: Literature and Emerging Issues International Conference," Princess Anne, Maryland, October 1997.
"Gilding Age: Fore-Edge Paintings: Text and Context," South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, New Orleans, February, 1996. Co-authored with Matthew Cohen.
"A Stateside Battle of the Bulge: Edmund Wilson versus Detective-Story Fans, 1944-1945" Popular Culture Association, Philadelphia, April 1995.
"Mystery Fiction and the Daniel Plot." Popular Culture Association in the South, Richmond, Virginia, October 1995.
"Why Do Mystery Stories Appeal: Reviewing the Criticism for Answers," South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, November 1995.
"Madness in Mystery Fiction: the Paradox of Violent Entertainment." Popular Culture Association, Chicago, April 1994.
"Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Conservative Feminism," Western Kentucky University Women's Studies Conference, Bowling Green, Kentucky, September 1994.
"Drawing Inferences: Sidney Paget's Illustrations and the Popular Construction of Sherlock Holmes," Victorians Institute Conference, Richmond, Virginia, September 1994.
"Dashiel Hammett and the Fantastic," Kentucky Philological Association meeting in Murray, March 1993.
"Lists of the Best Mystery Fiction and What They Tell Us," Popular Culture Association, New Orleans, April 1993.
"Racism in Popular Culture," a lecture sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers' Bureau and delivered by invitation to the Family Preservation Program convention in Covington, October 1993.
"Reviewing the Criticism on Velázquez's Las Meninas," The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, St. Louis, December 1993.
"Computer Workshops and Synergistic Classrooms: Is It Either/Or or Can We Have It All?" Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts, Louisville, February 1992.
"Adapting a Humanities Course to Teach in Spain," Internationalizing the Curriculum Conference, Paducah, April 1992.
"Detective Stories and the Epistemology of Modern Fiction," Pacific North West Popular Culture Conference, Vancouver, April 1992.
"Passing as Respectable: Sexual Countermyths and Displacement Struggles in the Novels of Wilkie Collins." South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Knoxville, November 1992.
"Rescue as Pervasive Motif in Nineteenth-Century English Arts," Popular Culture Association, San Antonio, March 1991.
"Depicting Victorian Sisters," a lecture at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, as part of a research fellowship there, September 1991.
"Relationships between the Arts," an address at the Sir Walter Scott Festival at Murray State University, sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, January 1991.
"Feminist Approaches to Traditional Texts," Kentucky Council of Teachers of English, Louisville, February 1991.
"The Texts of Hamlet," Senior Seminar presentation at Willamette University, March 1991. By invitation of Willamette University's Senior Seminars in the Humanities series.
"Toontown is Coontown: Cartooning Racism in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Popular Culture Association meeting in Toronto in 1990.
"The Humanities Course and Humane Assessment." National Council of Teachers of English, Charleston, South Carolina, April 1989.
"Four Pictures of Sir Joshua Reynolds: Fathering a Century of Sisters in English Art." Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Charleston, South Carolina, March 1989.
Chair of Session: "New Directions in Shakespeare Criticism." The SAMLA Award Winner Forum at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association meeting, Washington D.C., November 1988.
"The Uses of Weldon Kees." Conference on Weldon Kees, Beatrice, Nebraska, October 1988.
"The Glowing Paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites." Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers' Bureau lecture at Kentucky Highlands Museum, Ashland, May 1988.
"Skirting the Taboo: Sexuality in Victorian Art." Alpha Chi Honor Society Lecture, Murray State University, April 1988.
"On the Wagon on the Road to Glory: Alcoholism and Fundamentalism." Popular Culture Association meeting, New Orleans, March 1988.
Chair of Session: "Three Major Research Projects: Reports from the Field." National Council of Teachers of English, San Antonio, November 1986.
"Silent Characters in Hamlet." Kentucky Philological Association meeting, Bowling Green, March 1986.
"Narrative in the Visual Arts." National Council of Teachers of English, Philadelphia, November 1985.
Chair of Session: "Techniques of Engagement in Poetry and Painting." South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, Colorado Springs, March 1984.
"Short Passages: Time, Truth, and Violent Action in Photographs and Paintings." Popular Culture Association in the South, Jacksonville, October 1983.
"Outside Eden: Children Excluded from Gardens in the English Sister Arts." Southeastern Conference on Nineteenth-Century Studies, Bowling Green, Kentucky, April 1983.
"Extending Writing Skills in the Sophomore Humanities Course." Kentucky Council of Teachers of English, Louisville, March 1983.
"The Figure in the Landscape of the English Sister Arts." Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Birmingham, Alabama, March 1983.
"James Thomson's Imitation of Milton: Answerable Style for the Natural Sublime." American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Houston, March 1982.
"Landscape Structures in the English Sister Arts: Children in Gardens." Kentucky Philological Association, Georgetown, March 1982.
"Asking Questions/Getting Answers: An Approach to the Practice of Reading Poems." With Robert E. Bourdette, Jr. Modern Language Association meeting, New York, December 1981.
"Speech Act Theory and the Rhetoric of Paint." Kentucky Philological Association meeting, Morehead, February 1981, and the American Society for Aesthetics, Tampa, October 1981. This paper was accepted for publication by the Liberal and Fine Arts Review shortly before that journal's demise.
"Teaching Students to Teach Themselves Poetry: Three Heuristic Approaches." National Council of Teachers of English, Cincinnati, November 1980.
"Milton, Thomson, and Turner." Kentucky Philological Association, Frankfort, March 1980.
"American Pie and American Poetry Readers." Popular Culture Association in the South, Nashville, October 1978.
"Realism and Reaction in Some Pre-Raphaelite Works." Victorians Institute, Annapolis, October 1978. An earlier version was read as "Notes on Pre-Raphaelite Aesthetics" at the Kentucky Philological Association meeting, Louisville, March 1978.
"Sterne and the Philosophers." South Central Modern Language Association, New Orleans, December 1975. An earlier version was read at the invitation of the University of New Orleans Philosophy Club, March 1975.
"Blake's 'The Fly': Visual Metaphor versus Literal Criticism." Modern Language Association, San Francisco, December 1975. This paper was accepted for publication by Blake Studies before that journal discontinued publication. The paper eventually became part of Engaging English Art.
Associate Editor and Regular Referee 1980-2000, The Upstart Crow: A Shakespeare Journal, published by Clemson University.
Occasional Referee, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Studies in Iconography, Papers in Language and Literature, and College Literature.
University Press of Kentucky Editorial Board, 1992.
Member: PEN American Center