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The Midwest Quarterly, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

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John Rodden teaches rhetoric and intellectual history at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent books are The Walls in their Heads: Western and Eastern Germans Since Reunification (2007), The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell (2007), and Every Intellectual's Big Brother (2006). His investigation of crimes against human rights under East Germany's communist regime, Dialectics, Dogmas, and Dissent: Stories of East German Victims of Human Rights Abuse, is forthcoming from Penn State University Press. His newest book, Politics and the Intellectual: Conversations with Irving Howe will be published in 2009 by Purdue University Press.

As the articles in this issue of the journal reflect, Rodden's interests range from European and American cultural history to literary criticism to international politics and human rights. His recent classes at Texas included a Ph.D. course in contemporary German intellectual history and an undergraduate honors seminar in the rhetoric of British and American public intellectuals.

Since his childhood, when he frequently moved with his family--from Oklahoma to New York, from Louisiana to Texas, with several stops in between--STEVE WILSON's wanderings have inspired much of his poetry. Since 1987 he has been a member of the English Department faculty at Texas State University-San Marcos, where he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on such topics as Beat Literature, Irish Literature, Theory, and the study and writing of poetry. He is currently serving as Associate Chair of English. Wilson has also taught for extended periods in Malaysia, England, Ireland, and--as Senior Fulbright Lecturer--in Romania and Slovenia. He has degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Texas Christian University, and Wichita State University; has won a number of teaching awards; and directs the Texas State in Ireland study abroad program. His wife Nancy, who is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Texas-San Antonio, serves as Director of the Writing Center at Texas State. He and Nancy have two sons who are, inexplicably, brilliant at math instead of English: Samuel is at university majoring in International Studies and Mathematics, and Connor is a junior in high school.

Wilson first published poetry in The Midwest Quarterly in 1988 and his poems have since appeared in seventeen issues. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in such other journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Georgetown Review, Commonweal, North American Review, America, Blue Unicorn, New Orleans Review, The Christian Century, New American Writing, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, and New Letters; as well as in a number of anthologies, including O Taste and See: Food Poems (Bottom Dog Press), Visiting Frost: Poems Inspired by Robert Frost (University of Iowa), Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America (University of Iowa), What Have You Lost? …

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