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Dr. Wesley Beal
Assistant Professor of English
B.A. Hendrix College; M.A. University of Florida; Ph.D. University of Florida
Office 211 in the Alphin Humanities Building
Dr. Beal holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. At UF, he received several fellowships and awards, among them the Calvin A. VanderWerf Teaching Award, given to the single highest-rated graduate teaching assistant in UF’s Graduate School. At Lyon he teaches English composition and American literature, specializing in modern fiction, and co-directs the Year One program. He is also the President of the John Dos Passos Society.
In teaching authors, periods, and genres from the colonial period to the present, Dr. Beal stresses a historicist methodology that is also central to his research. Whether teaching the early American survey, his “Introduction to (Detective) Fiction” course, or non-canonical fiction of the 20th century, he hopes his students adopt this method of critiquing the rich exchanges between texts and their social conditions. In literature and composition courses alike, Dr. Beal emphasizes experimentation, hoping students will experiment with new ideas, new questions, and new writing styles — and in doing so, stretch out of their comfort zones without having to worry too much about getting it exactly "right" the first time.
Dr. Beal’s research focuses on the treatment of social organization in American modernism. One side of this project is Networks of Modernism, which is nearing completion after having placed articles in American Literary History and Digital Humanities Quarterly. The book studies the formal, technological, and sociological networks that mediate the fragment/totality binary in modernist fiction. Another side of this project is a study of the modern family, which is underway with exploratory studies of the collaborative novel The Whole Family and the fiction of Raymond Chandler.
Like his colleagues at Lyon, Dr. Beal is committed to community service. He is on the board of Habitat for Humanity, oversees an outreach program between his Year One students and local prisons, and volunteers for a local Creative Arts Ministry.