Dennis Wilson Wise

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Curriculum Vita



University of Arizona

Updated 11 Aug 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 makes fantasy literature a particularly viable form for examining central issues in both literature and political philosophy. Although written by authors ensconced in liberal democracies (at least for British and American authors), fantasy texts nonetheless imagine social relations in no longer extant regime types. In The Lord of the Rings, for example, I argue that Tolkien provides an in-depth analysis of thumos, a key component of Plato’s tripartite soul, and a concept which has begun to see increasing prominence in contemporary political theory.

  • Director: 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


  • “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 7 (2017). FORTHCOMING.
  • “J.R.R. Tolkien and the 1954 Nomination of E. M. Forster for the Nobel Prize in Literature.” Mythlore. FORTHCOMING.
  • “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.
  • “Book of the Lost Narrator: Re-Reading The Silmarillion as a Unified Text.” Tolkien Studies, vol. 13, 2016, pp. 101-124. Available at Project Muse.
  • “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.
  • “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.


  • “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. 290-298.


  • 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. FORTHCOMING.
  • 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. 549-552.
  • 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. 154-160, 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.


  • 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.


  • English 101 at U of ArizonaFirst-Year Composition
  • 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. Editor in chief, Scientia et Humanitas, MTSU’s peer reviewed journal of student research.
  • 2016. Copy editor and proofreader for University of Solitude [Univerzita Samoty] by Matej Valuch. Translated by Martina G. Wise, Amazon, 2016.
  • 2016. Associate editor, Scientia et Humanitas, MTSU’s peer reviewed journal of student research.
  • 2014. Social Sciences Section editor, Scientia et Humanitas, MTSU’s peer reviewed journal of student research.
  • 2010- —. Freelance editor. Copyediting/proofreading for academic articles, theses, dissertations, book proposals, etc.


  • 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.


  • 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)


  • 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