Graduate Program in Creative Writing

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Master of Fine Arts Faculty

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G. Douglas Atkins

Professor

3109 Wescoe Hall
785.864.2609
gdatkins@ku.edu

Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1969

 


Areas of Research

T.S. Eliot, literature and religion, the essay, the practice of literary criticism

Selected Books

Eliot’s Journey towards Understanding: Arriving at “Four Quartets” (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

T. S. Eliot and the Essay: From “The Sacred Wood” to “Four Quartets” (Baylor Univ. Press, 2010; nominated for MLA Awards; cited by Faith and Theology as one of  year’s two best books of literary criticism)

Literary Paths to Religious Understanding: Essays on Dryden, Keats, George Eliot, Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and E.B. White (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

On the Familiar Essay: Challenging Academic Orthodoxies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Reading Essays: An Invitation (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2008)

Tracing the Essay: Through Experience to Truth (Athens and London: Univ. of Georgia Press, 2005 (nominated for the Susanne K. Langer Prize and the Christian Gauss Phi Beta Kappa Prize)

Estranging the Familiar: Toward a Revitalized Critical Writing (Athens and London: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1992, nominated for the Harry Levin Prize and the Mina Shaughnessy Prize; selected by Choice as “An Outstanding Academic Book” for 1993-94)

Geoffrey Hartman: Criticism as Answerable Style (London and New York: Routledge, 1990)

Contemporary Critical Theory, co-edited with Laura Morrow (Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1988; London: Macmillan, 1989; and Taipei: Bookman, 1989)

Shakespeare and Deconstruction, co-edited with David M. Bergeron (New York: Peter Lang, 1988)

Writing and Reading Differently: Deconstruction and the Teaching of Composition and Literature, co-edited with Michael L. Johnson (Lawrence: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1985; second paperback printing, 1986)

Quests of Difference: Reading Pope’s Poems (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1986)

Reading Deconstruction/Deconstructive Reading (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1983; reissued in paperback, 1985)—selected by Choice as “An Outstanding Academic Book for 1984-85”

The Faith of John Dryden: Change and Continuity (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1980)

Selected Articles and Essays

“Art and Anger: Upon Taking Up the Pen Again—On Self(e)-Expresion,” JAC, 20 (2000); 414-25

“Envisioning the Stranger’s Heart,” College English, 56 (1994): 629-41

“In Other Words: Gardening for Love—The Work of the Essayist,” Kenyon Review, ns 13 (1991): 56-69 (reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, ed. Marie Lazzari. Gale Literary Criticism Series 48. New York: Gale, 1995: 167-73)

“A(fter) D(econstruction): The Relations of Literature and Religion in the Wake of Deconstruction,” Studies in the Literary Imagination, 18 (1985), 89-100

“Partial Stories: Hebraic and Christian Thinking in the Wake of Deconstruction,” Notre Dame English Journal, 15 (1983), 7-21

“Pope and Difference” (a Forum response), PMLA, 98 (1983), 407-08

“J. Hillis Miller, Deconstruction, and the Recovery of Transcendence,” Notre Dame English Journal, 13 (1980), 51-63

“Dehellenizing Literary Criticism,” College English, 41 (1980), 769-79

“Pope and Deism: A New Analysis,” in Pope: Recent Essays (The Essential Articles Series), ed. Maynard Mack and James A. Winn (Hamden, Conn.: Archon, 1980), pp. 392-415, 823-28 (rpt. from Huntington Library Quarterly, 35 [1972], 257-78)

“Strategy and Purpose in Pope’s Sober Advice from Horace,” Papers on Language & Literature, 15 (1979), 159-74

“Dryden’s Religio Laici: A Reappraisal,” Studies in Philology, 75 (1978), 347-70

“The Ancients, the Moderns, and Gnosticism,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 151-55 (1976), 149-66

The Eve of St. Agnes Reconsidered,” Tennessee Studies in Literature, 18 (1973), 113-32

Awards

Kemper, Grier, and Burlington Northern awards for excellence in teaching; Kenyon Review Prize for excellence in nonfiction prose; ACLS grant-in-aid; School of Criticism and Theory fellowship; Clark Library postdoctoral fellowship; NEH grant for workshops on “alternative”careers; Danforth and Woodrow Wilson fellowships; Phi Beta Kappa

Faculty Profile

Over the years, I have “specialized” in Restoration and early 18th-century British poetry and nonfiction prose; later, criticism and theory; then, the essay; and most recently, T.S. Eliot. I have not, however, “transcended” any of these areas, and consider myself (still) a scholar, critic, essayist, teacher, and adviser/counselor. My strength lies in the close reading of texts, in print and the classroom alike. I have just finished a book on E.B.White, essayist and author of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, the first sustained scholarly treatment of this great writer. My next project will likely be a comprehensive book, tentatively titled The Responsibilities of the Critic. I continue to teach a Freshman-Sophomore Honors course called Ancients, Moderns, and Modernists, I regularly offer an advanced course in essay-writing, and I am scheduled for a graduate seminar in T.S. Eliot (Fall 2011).

 



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