Dennis Wilson Wise

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Curriculum Vita



University of Arizona

Updated 6 Dec 2017


Ph.D., English Literature, Middle Tennessee State University. 2017.

  • Concentrations: 20th century British and American Literature
  • Dissertation: Rage and Recognition in Middle-earth: The Political Conflict of Ancient and Modern in J.R.R. Tolkien

Building off the conflict between “ancient and modern,” a central theme in the political philosophy of Leo Strauss, my dissertation examines how fantasy literature—J.R.R. Tolkien especially—develops a strong sense of historical consciousness that sheds light on the philosophical and social differences between political regimes across history. Although ensconced in a liberal democracy, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings provides an in-depth analysis of thumos, the idea of anger and glory-seeking first analyzed by Plato, and which is undergoing a resurgence in contemporary political theory.

  • Director(s): Dr. David Lavery, Dr. Becky King.
  • Committee: Dr. James Comas (English), Dr. Robb McDaniel (international relations)

M.A. in English Literature, Ohio State University. 2008.

  • Thesis: “Ontological Bifurcation: Consciousness and Mind in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.” Directed by Dr. David Herman

B.A. in English Literature, History, Philosophy, Kent State University. 2006.


  • Lecturer, University of Arizona, 2017- –
  • Writing Fellow, College of Graduate Studies, Middle Tennessee State U., 2016-2017
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Middle Tennessee State University, 2012-2016
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Ohio State University, 2006-2008

ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS—refereed publications

  • “The Domestic Male within the Pale of Globalization: The Postmodern Transformation of Tolkien’s Bard the Bowman.” Comparing Jackson’s The Hobbit Films to Tolkien’s Novel: Text into Film (working title), edited by Janice M. Bogstad, McFarland. FORTHCOMING.
  • “Unraveling The Hobbit’s Strange Publication History: A Look at Possible Worlds, Modality, and Accessibility Relations.” Subcreation: Worldbuilding in the Fantastic. Spec. Issue of Fastitocalon, vol. 7, no. 1 & 2, 2017, pp. 121-35.
  • “J.R.R. Tolkien and the 1954 Nomination of E. M. Forster for the Nobel Prize in Literature.” Mythlore, vol 37, no. 1, 2017, 143-65.
  • “Harken Not To Wild Beasts: Between Rage And Eloquence in Saruman And Thrasymachus.” The Journal of Tolkien Research, vol. 3, no. 2, 2016, available here.
  • “Book of the Lost Narrator: Re-Reading The Silmarillion as a Unified Text.” Tolkien Studies, vol. 13, 2016, pp. 101-24. Available at Project Muse.
  • “Classical Poetry and Modern Political Philosophy: Spenser and Machiavelli in A View of the State of Ireland.” Scientia et Humanitas, vol. 4, 2014, pp. 1-20, available here.

ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS—non-refereed publications

  • “Delving into Nome Man’s Land: Two Traditions in Baum and Tolkien.” Baum Bugle. FORTHCOMING.
  • “L. Frank Baum and PYRZQXGL: Or, How to Do Things with (Magic) Words.” Baum Bugle. FORTHCOMING.
  • “Identity, Time, and Faerie in Pig Tale and The Inn at Corbies’ Caww: An Unexpected Convergence of Realms.” A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honor of Verlyn Flieger, edited by John D. Rateliff. FORTHCOMING.
  • “Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Critique: Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap Into Genre.”  New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction, edited by Donald M. Hassler and Clyde Wilcox, U of South Carolina P, 2008, pp. 290-98.


  • Review of Okja, directed by Bong Joon-Ho.” Science Fiction Film and Television. FORTHCOMING.
  • Review of Alfred Bester, by Jad Smith.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. FORTHCOMING.
  • Review of The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, by Edmund Gordon.” Mythlore, vol. 36, no. 1, 2017, 235-39.
  • Review of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, vol. 27, no. 3, 2016, pp. 549-52.
  • Review of Wizards vs. Muggles: Essays on Identity in the Harry Potter Universe, edited by Christopher E. Bell.” Mythlore, vol. 35, no. 1, 2016, pp. 154-60, also available here.
  • Review of The Evolution of Modern Fantasy: From Antiquarianism to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series, by Jamie Williamson.” Fafnir: The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, vol. 3, no. 3, 2016, available here.


  • “How the Writers have Pushed MLB too far with Biogenesis.” It’s Pronounced Lajaway, 22 Aug 2013, available here.
  • “Masculinity, Reading, and Twilight.” As It Ought to Be, 9 July 2013, available here.
  • “Review of The Historical Novel in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Representations of Reality in History and Fiction, by Brian Hamnett.” Historical Novel Review, no. 63, February 2013, available here.


  • (upcoming) 2018. “Gender Violence and Feminist Thought in Stephen R. Donaldson’s ‘Reave the Just.’” International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts.
  • (upcoming) 2018. “‘Sing, Muse, the Wrath of Boromir, Denethor’s Son’: The Workings of Thumos and Lofgeornost in J.R.R. Tolkien.” International Congress on Medieval Studies.
  • 2017. “The Art of Writing in Glen Cook’s Black Company Series: A Meditation on Historiography.” International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts.
  • 2015. “Wallace Stevens and the Poetry of the Last Man.” South Central MLA Conference.
  • *2015. “Book of the Lost Narrator: Rhetoric and Esotericism in Tolkien.” Tolkien Seminar, hosted by the Tolkien Society in England.
  • 2014. “Tutoring Praxis and Composition Pedagogy—Ah, But I Repeat Myself.” International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Annual Conference.
  • *2014. “The Ideological Norms of The Silmarillion’s Aristocratic Narrator.” University of Georgia EGO Conference.
    • Panel organizer for the panel entitled: “The Anxiety of Historical Change: Novels and the Fear of the Future.” University of Georgia EGO Conference.
  • *2012. “Machiavelli, Immoralism, and the Late Epic Fantasy of Glen Cook.” Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Conference.

A * denotes that the presentation was either published or is currently being submitted.


  • 2017. “Rage and Recognition in Middle-earth.” Poster presentation for MTSU Scholars Week.
  • 2017. “Leo Strauss and J.R.R. Tolkien: A Literary and Political Examination of the Classic Conflict Between Ancient and Modern.” MTSU EGSO Graduate Research Symposium. Accepted for presentation by a panel of faculty judges.
  • 2016. “John Steinbeck.” Guest Lecturer for two classes for the English 3320: Twentieth-Century American Literature course at MTSU. Invited for my familiarity with Steinbeck and American naturalism.
  • 2014. “Multiculturalism and Historical Fiction: The Re-Consecration of Tenochtitlan’s Great Pyramid.” MTSU EGSO Graduate Research Symposium. Accepted for presentation by a panel of faculty judges.
  • 2013. “One Suggestion for a Less Ideological Classroom.” CompExpo, hosted by MTSU.
  • 2006. “Theodicy and the Existential Prototype in Stephen R. Donaldson.” Poster presentation for the Kent State Honors Colloquium.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE (22 sections total)

  • English 102 at U of Arizona: First-Year Composition II
  • English 101 at U of ArizonaFirst-Year Composition I
  • English 2030 at MTSU: The Experience of Literature.
  • English 1020 at MTSU: Research and Argumentative Writing.
  • English 1010 at MTSU: Expository Writing with multimodal component.
  • English 1009 at MTSU: Introduction to University Writing (studio sections).
  • English 152 at Ohio State: Writing and Reading. Theme: science fiction.
  • English 151 at Ohio State: Writing and Rhetoric I. Theme: liberal education.
  • English 151 at Ohio State: Writing and Rhetoric I. Theme: travel narrative.


  • Writing Consultant, University Writing Center at Middle Tennessee State University.
    • Description: one-on-one writing instruction for any university student. Extensive experience with minority and English as Foreign Language students.



  • 2017. 2nd place poster presentation, College of Liberal Arts, MTSU Scholars Week.
  • 2017. 3rd place presentation of $100 for EGSO Graduate Research Symposium.
  • 2016. Richard C. and Virginia Peck Award (faculty-nominated award for excellence in graduate work), Middle Tennessee State University.
  • 2015. William Wolfe Graduate Writing Award, Middle Tennessee State University.
    • “Ward Cleaver, Avant-Gardist: Wallace Stevens and the Poetry of the Last Man”
  • 2015. Omnicron Delta Kappa induction (National Leadership Honor Society).
  • 2014. Dean’s Distinguished Essay Award from Scientia et Humanitas, issue 4.
    • “Classical Poetry and Modern Political Philosophy”
  • 2013. William Wolfe Graduate Writing Award, Middle Tennessee State University.
    • “Chronotopic Historiography and Narration in Tolkien’s published Silmarillion.”
  • 2006. Distinguished Student Award, Kent State University.
  • 2006. DuBois Critical Writing Award, Kent State University.
    • “Polyphony, Parataxis, and Poetics in The Sun Also Rises
  • 2006. Adult Learner Scholarship Award for Academic Distinction, Kent State University.
  • 2005. Phi Alpha Theta induction (History Honors Society).


  • 2016-2017. Provost’s Dissertation Writing Fellowship, Middle Tennessee State U.
  • 2012-2016. Graduate Assistantship, Middle Tennessee State University.
  • 2014. Conference Travel Grant of $250: MTSU Department of English Peck Fund.
  • 2014. Conference Travel Grant of $500: MTSU College of Graduate Studies.
  • 2012. Conference Travel Grant of $500: MTSU College of Graduate Studies.
  • 2006-2008. Graduate Assistantship, The Ohio State University.
  • 2006. Wilma J. Crawford Honors Scholarship, Kent State University.
  • 2003-2006. Adult Learner Scholarship, Kent State University.


  • 2017. APR (Annual Performance Review) Planning Committee—U of Arizona
  • 2015-2016. President of English Graduate Student Organization (EGSO).
  • 2015-2016. Organizer of MTSU Graduate Student Book Club.
  • 2015. “Composing a Peer Review for an Academic Journal.” Workshop led for Scientia et Humanitas.
  • 2015. Lower Division Syllabus Review.
  • 2015. Presentation Judge for the English Graduate Research Symposium.
  • 2015. Volunteer Judge—departmental General Education Awards (Engl 1010 category).
  • 2015. Volunteer Judge—departmental General Education Awards (Engl 1020 category).
  • 2014-2015. Events Coordinator for the English Graduate Student Organization (EGSO).
  • 2014. Workshop facilitator for Central Magnet [High] School’s Writing Center.
  • 2012-2014. Campus Events Committee for the MTSU Writing Center.
  • 2013. Leader for Saturday Morning Workshop Series (Writing Process).
  • 2013. Leader for Saturday Morning Workshop Series (Citations).


  • International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts
  • The Mythopoeic Society
  • The Tolkien Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • Omnicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society)
  • Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society)


  • 2-week Mini-Workshop for Teaching Online (Certificate of Completion)
  • 2015. Peck Composition Series: Seminar and workshop with Elizabeth Wardle. MTSU.
  • 2014. Peck Composition Series: Seminar and workshop with Cheryl BallMTSU.
  • 2013. Peck Composition Series: Seminar and workshop with Andrea LunsfordMTSU.


  • Available upon request