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Dr. Robert C. Hale
Office: Cherry Hall 135
My primary teaching area is 19th-century British literature. Professors Ed Bratton and R. B. Miller sparked my passion for the poetry of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats when I was an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee. At Louisiana State University where I earned my MA and PhD, I also became interested in Victorian literature, particularly fiction, and turn-of-the-century literature of Britain and the United States, under the tutelage of Elsie Michie and J. Gerald Kennedy. With mentoring from my major professor Michelle Massé at LSU, I also expanded my interest in women’s literature, feminist criticism, and psychoanalytic approaches to literature. In all my classes, I strive to help my students become better readers, writers, and thinkers and to encourage them to reach across disciplines into areas such as history, visual art, performing arts, religious studies, and popular culture to integrate their learning and make meaning of literature, culture, and their places in the world.
My main research area is the poetry of William Wordsworth. Often noted as a poet who writes about childhood and children, Wordsworth also wrote about mothers and fathers. Much of my research centers on Wordsworth's representation of mothers, how and why he depicts them, and what his treatments teach us about his poetry. I’ve also published on Scottish poet and playwright Joanna Baillie and African American poet Langston Hughes.
After spending thirteen fulfilling years teaching at Monmouth College in Illinois, I am happy to return to the South to live, work, write, and think. I am fortunate to have colleagues who make student learning their priority and who strive to challenge and nurture students to do their very best work. Most of my time outside of school is spent with my wife raising our two children--the most challenging and gratifying job of my life.