“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
— James Baldwin

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul."
— Joyce Carol Oates

"And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out."
— David Foster Wallace


What's here and what's coming

Periods & Movements

Intellectual and literary movements

Cultures & Histories

Cultural and historical information

Reading & Writing

Do both better

Courses & Syllabi

What we do and when we do it


Biographical information


In-depth work


Worthy of respect


Things you need to know


Get A Job!

In a 2016 national poll, 91% of employers agreed that career success hinges on “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems.” In short, your skills will never lose their value.

Work Well With Others!

96% of employers agreed that "all college students should have experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own."

Be More Human

Over two dozen studies have shown that reading narrative fiction makes you more empathetic. Peter Oatley, the principal investigator in one study, said: "People who read more fiction were better at empathy and understanding others . . . and this is pretty much the center of what it means to be human."

Read Real Books

You can lose yourself in a good book (not just a textbook), or lose yourself to your passions about literature, language, and life.


I'm an Associate Professor of English at Georgia Southern University. My field here is postcolonial literature and Irish Studies. My graduate work was in 20th-century poetry, but we all move on and enlarge our scope when we hit the classroom. I work closely with Georgia Southern's Center for Irish Research and Teaching. I also edit two journals, The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies and The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

I'm a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with a doctorate in English Literature. One of the most important things UNC taught me was to prepare for a job in another field, hence my work in HR, computers, and tech writing. I have toiled at these electronic fringes of academia, where I fell into designing web sites and doing service like assessment.

I've had the good fortune to work with superb people, from whom I have stolen most of the ideas I pass off as mine. I've got a list of lit and comp colleagues as long as my arm who have taught me many things. On the tech end, the list is smaller, so I'll mention Ron Yoder at EKU and Paul Jones (yes, THAT Paul Jones, one of the original gods of the web) at UNC, ibiblio, and the Internet Poetry Archive.