Associate Professor of English


Dr. Phillips began teaching at Maryville College in 2001. He earned a B.A at the University of the South and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include literary modernism and the nineteenth century; fantasy and science fiction; and the complicated interplay of language, narrative and cultural change.  His honor’s thesis as an undergraduate was a study of paradisal imagery in Ezra Pound’s Cantos; for his Master’s thesis, he studied the use of mother-daughter plot motifs in William Faulkner’s The Reivers. Work toward his dissertation led to his book Nightmares of Anarchy: Language and Cultural Change, 1870–1910 (Bucknell University Press, 2003), which studied the role of the anarchist and broader narratives of social disorder in the culture of the late nineteenth century.

A graduate of a small liberal arts college, Phillips has a broad range of interests, and he values helping students marry their own loves to the skills of interpretation, empathy, and expression that are at the heart of an English major and a liberal arts education more broadly.

Courses Taught

In the core curriculum, Dr. Phillips teaches first year composition (ENG 110 and ENG 120), the Modern Western literature survey (ENG 170), an introduction to literature and the American experience (ENG 180), and the senior capstone in Ethics (ETH 490). Within the English program, Dr. Phillips has taught an introduction to literary study (ENG 162) and literary theory and advanced interpretation (HUM 201). He also teaches surveys of American and British literature (ENG 221, 222, and 242), a course in Fantasy and Science Fiction (ENG 208), and upper level courses in Nineteenth century British literature (ENG 335), 20th century literature and aesthetics (ENG 336), and the history of the novel (ENG 348).

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