"War war war," my young daughter jibes.

It was, on the surface, a utilitarian decision. In graduate school I needed a dissertation topic, and, as it was the late 1990s, I knew the generation of scholars working on war literature--the Vietnam generation--was retirement-bound. Those months as a wartime junior officer would give me a credential as well as an intimacy with the subject rare among my generation.

I was wiser than I knew (if career stumblings-along can count as wisdom). Studying war literature has provided a critical separation from as well as a deep connection to that uniformed self, leaving soldier and scholar unsundered. At ease, more or less. 

Born in Dallas, raised in the Overland Park/Prairie Village suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas, the youngest of three boys, I chose to be dealt a cadet education at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in the last years of the Cold War before serving as a tank lieutenant in the transitional Persian Gulf War (1990-1991). Then it was on to graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, followed by grateful employment at Hendrix College. Where, sweet pea, I do more than just war, war, war.

There's Tarzan, too! 

(When I saw the first two customer reviews for On Tarzan-- 

  • "A work of seminal and impressive scholarship…as well as a singularly important contribution to the reading lists for all dedicated Tarzan fans."
  • "You would have to be on the ill side to buy this incredibly insulting book about Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous character….You would be better of striking a match to any money used to buy it."

--I knew I had done something right.)



     Professor of English

     also at Hendrix... 



B.S., General Engineering with Literature major, U.S. Military Academy (West Point, 1989) 

M.A., English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1994) 

Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2001)