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Wes Chapman

Associate Professor of English


Office Number:
CLA 145
Wes Chapman

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1992
M.A., Cornell University, 1987
B.A., University of Colorado, 1982

Video URL Caption Prof. Chapman talks about his favorite course, "Literary Theories," which allows students to ask big questions.

Courses Frequently Taught:
Gateway 100: Happiness
English 115: Science Fiction
English 170: The Sixties
English 220: The Web of American Poetry
English 220: Continuity and Change in American Poetry
English 280: Understanding Literature
English 356: Modernism
English 370: Literary Minds
English 380: Literary Theories
English 480: The Postmodern Encyclopedic Novel

Honors and Awards:
Illinois Wesleyan University Award for Teaching Excellence (Kemp Foundation Award, 2010)
Phi Kappa Phi, 2001
NEH Summer Seminar, 1998
Clark Distinguished Teaching Award (Cornell University), 1988.
Martin Sampson Award for Teaching Excellence (Cornell University), 1987.

Selected Publications:
"The Cognitive Literary Theory of Richard Powers'  Galatea 2.2 ." Modern Fiction Studies  61.2 (2015). Special issue on Neuroscience and Modern Fiction. 226-250.
—“A Promise of Implied Mountains” (Flash poem). Tattoo Highway (2002).
—Turning In (hypertext fiction). Eastgate: 1997.
—“Blake’s Visions and Revisions of a Daughter of Albion. ” Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly 31 (1997), 4-17.
—“Male Pro-Feminism and the Masculinist Gigantism of Gravity’s Rainbow,” Postmodern Culture 6.3 (1996).

Faculty Status:
Tenured, at IWU since 1997; next sabbatical, 2019-20

Personal and Professional:
So let us say you are here (here?), bored and lonely perhaps, wondering if we should meet; and let us say that a thin membrane separates us, separates and joins at the same time; and let us say further that this membrane is language; and that on the other side of that membrane is more language, self and other, permeated by what language is of but is not—emotion, perception, proprioception; and that self is therefore changeable and permeable, though only by so much; and that you are I, and I am this tedious bit of self-display, just for this instant; and that human nature is a Heracleitan fire, though it is not only that; and the very existence of language proves this; and that despite all this, despite even that if we meet I will be you in turn, I have faith in you, as you are and will be; would you have answered your question?