Dennis Wilson Wise

ACADEMIC WEBSITE FOR DENNIS WISE (PhD, Middle Tennessee State U)

Currently a lecturer for the University of Arizona (faculty webpage here), my major fields of study are 20th- & 21st-century American and British literature. I focus on science fiction and fantasy literature in particular. My dissertation argued that J. R. R. Tolkien, the father of modern fantasy, can best be seen through the lens of political philosopher Leo Strauss, particularly in light of Strauss’s revival of classical political rationalism and his analysis of modernity. Because Tolkien worked so closely with pre-modern heroic societies, he has become one of the few 20th-century authors able to provide an in-depth (and politically relevant) literary analysis of thymos, a Greek concept first analyzed by Plato that means “spiritedness.” As of right now, my monograph has been tentatively titled, with a nod to Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in Fantasy: Anger, Virtue, and Politics in J. R. R. Tolkien.

My academic work, however, involves more than Tolkien. Since completing my dissertation eighteen months ago, I’ve focused on science fiction and fantasy topics ranging from gender violence and feminist theory to 20th-century alliterative poetry.

I’m also currently the reviews editor for Fafnir: Nordic Journal of SFF Research. Previously, I was the editor in chief for Scientia et Humanitasa peer-reviewed journal of student research. I also have 10+ years experience as a freelance editor.

Current Research Interests:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Fantasy literature
  • Science Fiction
  • British and American modernism/postmodernism
  • The literature of the First World War (and modern war literature more generally)
  • Historical fiction
  • Feminist theory
  • The academic novel