Dennis Wilson Wise

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20th-Century British Literature


My research interests in 20th- & 21st-century science fiction and fantasy mean that I spend my time equally among British and American authors. My dissertation focuses on J. R. R. Tolkien, but I’ve also done work on E. M. Forster and Angela Carter.

My most recent work on British literature has focused on examining why Tolkien nominated E. M. Forster for the Nobel Prize in 1954. In general, I’ve worked extensively with the British modernists, especially the literature of the First World War.

I have also done extensive work in critical theory.


  • Dissertation on J.R.R. Tolkien and Leo Strauss.
  • “Book of the Lost Narrator: Re-Reading The Silmarillion as a Unified Text.” Published in volume 13, 2016.
  • “Book of the Lost Narrator: Rhetoric and Esotericism in the published Silmarillion.” Conference presentation in Leeds, England, 2015.
  • “Trauma in War Novels: Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy.” Seminar in Modern British Literature, class presentation, 2014.
  • “Classical Poetry and Modern Political Philosophy: Spenser and Machiavelli in A View of the State of Ireland.” Scientia et Humanitas 4 (2014): 1-20. Print.
  • “The Ideological Norms of The Silmarillion’s Aristocratic Narrator.” Graduate conference presentation in Athens, GA, 2014. Essay also a recipient of MTSU’s Wolfe Graduate Writing Award, 2013.


  • “Reading Hélène Cixous.” Seminar in Feminist Theory: class presentation, 2014.
  • “Franz Fanon and Violence.” Seminar in Postcolonial Literature and Theory: class presentation, 2013.
  • “Mikhail Bakhtin and the Marxist Treatment of the Folkloric.” Critical Theory Seminar: class presentation, 2014.
  • “Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology, and Cognitive Narrative Theory.” Seminar: Narrative Theory and Consciousness: class presentation, 2007.
  • “Tzvetan Todorov’s Structuralist Approach to the Fantastic.” Intro to Grad Study: class presentation, 2006.
  • “Parataxis, Polyphony, and Poetics in The Sun Also Rises.” Bakhtinian analysis of Hemingway’s novel, written for a seminar in semiotics, bestowed Kent State English Department’s top award for undergraduate writing in 2006.