Department of English                                                                165 E. South Street

Ohio State University                                                                                                Worthington, Ohio  43085

164 W. 17th Avenue                                                                   614-888-5139

Columbus, Ohio  43210-1370                                                     U.S. Citizen

614/292-6065, 614/292-6669




Ph.D. in English Language and Literature, University of Chicago, 1977

M.A. in English Language and Literature, University of Chicago, 1973

B.A. in English Literature, Boston College, 1972




Distinguished University Professor, 2008—

Humanities Distinguished Professor, 2004—

Professor, 1989-2004; Chair, 1994-2002;

Associate Professor, 1983-89

Assistant Professor, 1977-83



Founding member (with 3 others), 2005-06

Director, 2008-10; 2016-



Visiting Professor, Spring 2012



Northrop Frye Visiting Professor of Literary Theory, Division of

Comparative Literature, Autumn 2002




Instructor, Liberal Arts Department, 1975-77


AWARDS &GRANTS (selected)



Election to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2016)


International Society for the Study of Narrative names its annual award for the best essay in Narrative “The James Phelan Prize.” (2014)


Honorary Doctorate (Doctorem Philosophiae Honoris Causa), Aarhus University, September 2013


Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book of 2012 for After Testimony:  The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future (co-edited with Susan R. Suleiman and Jakob Lothe)


Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book of 2012 for Narrative Theory:  Core Concepts and Critical Debates (co-authored with David Herman, Peter J. Rabinowitz, Brian Richardson, and Robyn Warhol)


Distinguished University Professorship, 2008


NEH Summer Seminar, “Narrative Theory: Rhetoric and Ethics in Fiction and Autobiography,” 2008


Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, Ohio State University, 2007.


Arts and Sciences Research Award for Distinguished Service, Spring 2007.


Perkins Prize, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, for best book in narrative studies in 2005 (Living to Tell about It) (awarded 2007)


Residency Fellowship, Centre for Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Letters and Science, Oslo, Autumn 2005, Spring 2006


NEH Summer Seminar, “Narrative Theory:  Rhetoric and Ethics in Fiction  and Autobiography,” 2005


Distinguished Scholar Award, Ohio State University, 2004


Humanities Distinguished Professorship,  2004


NEH Focus Grant, “Teaching Multicultural American Literature,” 1999


Nancy Dasher Award, College English Association of Ohio for best

pedagogical publication 1994-1996 for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A

            Case Study in Critical Controversy, 1997 (co-edited with Gerald Graff)


NEH Summer Seminar, “Issues in the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative,”



NEH Masterworks Grant, “Fiction, Poetry, and Drama in the High

Schools:  A Rhetorical Approach,” 1994-95


Best New Journal Award given by The Council of Editors of Learned Journals to Narrative, 1993


NEH Masterworks Grant, “Fiction, Poetry, and Drama in the Middle Schools: A Rhetorical Approach,” 1992-93


NEH Summer Seminar, “Issues in the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative,”



Finalist, Outstanding Teacher Award, Colleges of the Arts and Sciences,

1980, 1981




Narrative theory, Critical theory, the English and American novel, 20th– and 21st-Century English and American literature, Medical Humanities/Narrative  Medicine




Criticism and Theory:


Debating Rhetorical Narratology: On the Synthetic, Mimetic, and Thematic Aspects of Narrative  (with Matthew Clark). Ohio State University Press (in production for Spring  2020).


        Somebody Telling Somebody Else: Toward a Rhetorical Poetics of Narrative. Columbus:

         Ohio State University Press, 2017.  (Chinese translation in process).


            Reading the American Novel, 1920-2010. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.


            Narrative Theory:  Core Concepts and Critical Debates. With Brian

Richardson, David Herman, Robyn Warhol, and Peter J. Rabinowitz. Ohio

State University Press, 2012. (Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book). Chinese Translation, 2016.


Experiencing Fiction:  Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative. Ohio State University Press, 2007.


The Nature of Narrative. With Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg. 2nd  Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.  Scholes has written a new preface and made minor alterations in the original text; I have written a substantial new chapter on developments in narrative theory since 1966.  Chinese translation, 2015.


Living to Tell about It: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005. (awarded Perkins Prize for best book in Narrative Studies 2007)


Narrative as Rhetoric: Technique, Audiences, Ethics, Ideology.  Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1996.  Chinese translation, 2002.


Reading People, Reading Plots: Character, Progression, and the Interpretation of Narrative.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1989.


Worlds from Words: A Theory of Language in Fiction.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1981.


Creative Nonfiction:


Beyond the Tenure Track: Fifteen Months in the Life of an English Professor.  Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1991.


Edited Collections of Essays:


            After Testimony: The Future of Holocaust Narratives. Co-edited with Susan

  1. Suleiman and Jakob Lothe. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012. (Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book)


Fact, Fiction, and Form: Selected Essays of Ralph W. Rader. Co-edited with David H. Richter.  Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2011.


            Teaching Narrative Theory.  New York: MLA Publications. Co-

edited with Brian McHale and David Herman.  New York: MLA Publications, 2010.


             Joseph Conrad: Voice,  Sequence, History, Genre. Co-edited with

Jakob  Lothe and Jeremy Hawthorn.  Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008.


A Companion to Narrative Theory. Co-edited with Peter J. Rabinowitz.  Oxford: Blackwell, Publishing,  2005.  Chinese translation 2007.


Understanding Narrative.  Co-edited with Peter J. Rabinowitz.  Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1994.


Reading Narrative: Form, Ethics, Ideology.  Ed. Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1989.





The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy.  Co-edited with Gerald Graff.  Boston: Bedford Books, 2000. Second edition, 2009.


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Case Study in Critical Controversy.  Co-edited with Gerald Graff.  Boston:  Bedford Books, 1995. Second edition, 2004.






Editor, Narrative, Journal of the Society for the International Society for the Study of Narrative, 1992-


Co-editor, Ohio State University Press series on the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative (with Peter Rabinowitz, 1993—2019; with Robyn Warhol, 2013-2016; with Katra Byram, 2017- and Faye Halpern, 2019– (over 60 books published or in production)


Co-editor with Gerald Graff, Critical Controversies Series, Bedford Books.

Edgar Allan Poe: A Case Study in Critical Controversy, edited by Jared Gardner and Elizabeth Hewitt 2015.


Editor, Talking about Teaching, volume 4 (2010)


Guest editor, Foreign Literature Studies (Wuhan China) Summer 2010


Guest editor, Journal of Narrative Technique 20, 3 (1990)






“Irony, Ethics, and Lyric Narrative in Miriam Engelberg’s Cancer Made Me a Shallower

Person.”  Oxford Handbook to Comic Studies. Frederick Luis Aldama, ed. New York:

Oxford University Press (forthcoming).


              “Rhetorical Theory of Narrative and Contemporary Narrative Poetics: A         Conversation with James Phelan.”  Foreign Literature Studies (Shanghai)         (forthcoming)

“The Novel; Or, The Power and Functions of Fictionality.” Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature. Ken Seigneurie, ed. (forthcoming).


“The Ethics of Factuality.” Narrative Factuality: A Handbook. Monika Fludernik and Marie-Laure Ryan, eds.  De Gruyter (forthcoming).


“Authors, Genres, Audiences.” Cambridge Companion to Literary Authorship.  Gert Buelens, ed.  New York: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).


            “Jakob Lothe: An Appreciation” Partial Answers (forthcoming).

“Contemporary Narrative Theory.” Companion to Literary Theory, ed. David H. Richter.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018. 72-84.


“Authors, Resources. Audiences: Towards a Rhetorical Poetics of Narrative” Style. 52, 1-2 (2018): 1-34.  Target Essay for special double-issue in which 25 narrative theorists respond


“Debating Rhetorical Poetics: Interventions, Amendments, Extensions.”  Style. 52, 1-2 (2018): 153-72.   My reply to the 25 respondents.


“Local Nonfictionality within Generic Fiction: Huntington’s Disease in McEwan’s Saturday and Genova’s Inside the O’Briens.The Edinburgh Companion to Theories of Narrative. Robyn Warhol and Zara Dineen, eds.  Edinburgh University Press (2018). 362-74.



“Fictionality, Audiences, and Character: A Rhetorical Alternative to Catherine

Gallagher’s ‘The Rise of Fictionality”’ Poetics Today 39, 1 (2018): 123-39.

“Writing Effective Journal Essay Introductions.”  Inside Higher Ed, May 16, 2018 (with Faye Halpern).

“The Immigrant Experience in Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Third and Final Continent”: Postcolonial and Rhetorical Perspectives. ” Narratology and Ideology.  Divya Dwivedi, Henrik, Skov Nielsen, and Richard Walsh, eds.  Columbus: Ohio State University Press (2018): 173-89.


“Quelqu’un raconte à quelqu’un autre: un approche rhétorique de la communication narrative.”  Trans. Nathalie Ramière.  Introduction àa la narratologie postclassique: les nouelles directions de la recherché sur le rècit. Sylvie Patron, ed. Lille: Presses universitaires du Septentrion, 2018.  47-67.


“Project Narrative: A Brief Story of Origin and  Evolution.”  Narrative Culture 4, 1 (2017): 1-14.


“Reliable, Unreliable and Deficient Narration: A Rhetorical Account.” Narrative Culture 4, 1 (2017): 89-103.



“Fictionality.” A/B Auto/Biography Studies, 32, 2 (2017): 235-38. Special Issue on “What’s Next? The Futures of Auto/Biography.”


“Writing an Effective Abstract: An Audience-Based Approach.” Inside HigherEd, February 23, 2017 (with Faye Halpern)


“Narrative Theory, 2006-15: Some Highlights with Applications to Ian McEwan’s Atonement.Frontiers of Literary Studies 3, 1 (2017): 179-201.


Chinese Translation of “Contemporary Narrative Theory.” The Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) July 2017.



“Narrative Fiction, the Short Story, and Life: The Case of Tobias Wolff’s ‘Bullet in the Brain.’” Life and Narrative: The Risks and Responsibilities of Storying Experience.  Brian Schiff and Sylvie Patron, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.  55-72.

”Lumping, Splitting, and Narratives as Rhetorical Actions: Notes on Christine J. Pan’s ‘Reminiscences’ and Deborah Eisenberg’s ‘Twilight of the Superheroes.’” Life and Narrative: The Risks and Responsibilities of Storying Experience.  Brian Schiff. A. Elizabeth McKim, and Sylvie Patron, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.  63-70.


“The Explanatory Power of Rhetorical Poetics.”  The Future of Literary Studies, Jakob Lothe, ed. Oslo: Novus Press, 2017.


“Narrative as Argument in Atul Gawande’s “On Washing Hands” and “Letting Go.” Narration as Argument, Paula Olmos, ed. New York: Springer Publishing, 2017, 177-92.


“Why There Are No One-to-One Correspondences among Fictionality, Narrative, and Techniques: A Reply to Mari Hatavari and Jarmilla Mildorf.” Narrative 25 (2017): 83-91. (With Henrik Skov Nielsen)


“Unnatural Narratives and the Task of Theory Construction.” Style 50 (2016): 414-18.


“Privileged Authorial Disclosure about Events: Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain” and O’Hara’s “Appearances.”  Narrative Sequence in Contemporary Narratology.  Raphäel Baroni and Françoise Revaz, eds.  Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2016: 51-70.

“Analepsis/Prolepsis.” Time: Keywords. Amy Elias and Joel Burgess, eds. New York: NYU Press, 2016. 24-54.


“Local Fictionality within Global Nonfiction: Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?” Enthymema, 16 (2016).


“My Narratology: An Interview with James Phelan.” Diegesis, 4, 2 (December 2015).


“Why Study Critical Controversies about the Work of Edgar Allan Poe.” “How to Write about Critical Controversies about the Work of Edgar Allan Poe.”  Edgar Allan Poe: A Case Study in Critical Controversy.  Jared Gardner and Elizabeth Hewitt, eds.  Boston: Bedford Books (2015).  Co-authored with Gerald Graff.


“A Rhetorical Reading of Tobias Wolff’s ‘The Night in Question.’” Engagements with Close Reading: Form, Affect, Ethics. Annette Federico.  New York: Routledge, 2015. 177-81.


“The Chicago School: From Neo-Aristotelian Poetics to the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative.” Schools and Circles of the Twentieth-Century, ed. Marina Grishakova. Routledge (2015): 133-51.


“Ten Theses about Fictionality.”  Narrative 23 (2015): 61-73.  With Henrik Skov Nielsen and Richard Walsh.


“Fictionality as Rhetoric: A Response to Paul Dawson.  Narrative 23 (2015): 101-11.  With Henrik Skov Nielsen and Richard Walsh.


“Rhetorical Theory, Cognitive Theory, and Morrison’s ‘Recitatif’”: From Parallel Play to Productive Collaboration.  Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies.  Ed. Lisa Zunshine. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.  120-35.



“Occasions of Narration in Enduring Love: Love, Logic, Madness, Contagion, and Narrative Communication.” Les Narrateurs Fous/Mad Narrators. Nathalie Jaëck, Clara Mallier, Arnaud Schmitt, Romain Girard, eds. Pesac, France: Maison Sciences de L’Homme de L’Aquitaine, 2014. 169-84.



“Advancing the Project of ‘Recentering Literary Education’: An Overlapping Model, a Friendly Amendment, and a Proposed Revision.” Style 48 (2014): 71-75.


“Voice, Tone, and the Rhetoric of Narrative Communication.”  Language

and Literature 23. 1 (2014): 49-60.


“Narrative Ethics.” Handbook of Narratology, vol. 2. Peter Hühn, Jan

Christoph Meister, John Pier, Wolf Schmid, eds. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter,

  1. 531-45.


“Afterword: A Matter of EmPHASis: Literacy Narratives and Literacy Narratives.”  Ulman, H. Lewis, Scott Lloyd DeWitt, and Cynthia L. Selfe, Eds. Stories That Speak to Us. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital P/Utah State UP, 2013. Web.


“Narrative Ethics.” The Living Handbook of Narratology.  Huhn, Peter, John Christoph Meister, John Pier, and Wolf Schmid,  Eds. Hamburg: Hamburg University. 2013 Web.


“McEwan’s Enduring Love: A Rhetorical Reader’s Response to ‘Appendix I’ and ‘Appendix II’.”  Anglistik 24, 2 (2013): 67-79.


“Twain, Huck, and Us: Or, the Ethics of Progression in  Huckleberry Finn.”

Narrative Ethics. Jakob Lothe and Jeremy Hawthorn, eds. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2013. 153-66  With Peter J. Rabinowitz.


“Implausibilities, Crossovers, Impossibilities: A Rhetorical Approach to

Breaks in the Mimetic Code of Narration.”  A Poetics of Unnatural

            Narrative, Jan Alber, Henrik Skov Nielsen, and Brian Richardson, eds.

Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2013.  167-84.


“Conversational and Authorial Disclosure in the Dialogue Novel: The

Case of The Friends of Eddie Coyle.” Narrative, Interrupted: The Plotless,

the Disturbing, and the Trivial in Literature.  Markku Lehtimäki, Laura

Karttunen, and Maria Makelä. Amsterdam: De Gruyter, 2012. 3-23.


“How Did He Do That? Understanding Henry James’s Revised Last Sentence in ‘The Aspern Papers.’”  Each Other’s Yarns: Essays on Narrative and Critical Method for Jeremy Hawthorn. Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2012. 25-40.


“James Phelan:  Responses.” Narrative Theories and Poetics: 5 Questions.

Edited by Peer Bundgaard, Henrik Skov Nielsen, and Frederik Stjernfelt.

Automatic Press: Copenhagen (2012): 175-86.


“Introduction: After Testimony.” After Testimony:  The Ethics and

Aesthetics of Holocaust Narratives for the Future.  With Jakob and Susan R.

Suleiman. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012. 1-22


“The Ethics and Aesthetics of Backward Narration in Martin Amis’s Time’s

Arrow.” After Testimony:  The Future of Holocaust Narratives (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012):  120-141.


Danish Translation of “Implausibilities, Crossovers, Impossibilities: A

Rhetorical Approach to Breaks in the Mimetic Code of Narration.  Kultur og Klasse Autumn (2011).


“The Literary Theoretical Contribution of Ralph W. Rader.” Fact, Fiction, and Form: Selected Essays of Ralph W. Rader.  With David H. Richter. Columbus: Ohio State University Press (2011):  1-28.


“Rhetoric, Ethics, and Narrative Communication: Or, From Story and

Discourse to Authors, Resources, and Audiences.” Soundings 94, 1-2 (2011): 55-75.  Chinese translation 2012.


“Voice, Politics, and Judgments in Their Eyes Were Watching God: The

Initiation, the Launch, and the Debate about the Narration.” Analyzing

World Fiction: New Horizons in Narrative Theory. Ed. Frederick Aldama. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011. 57-73.


“The Implied Author, Deficient Narration, and Nonfiction Narrative: Or,

What’s Off-Kilter in The Year of Magical Thinking and The Diving Bell and

the Butterfly?” Style 45, 1 (2011): 127-45.


“Progression, Speed, and Judgment in Kafka’s ‘Das Urteil.’” Franz Kafka: Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading.  . Eds. Jakob Lothe, Beatrice Sandberg, Ronald Speirs. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2011.  22-39.


“Progression, vitesse et jugement dans «Das Urteil» ou Ce que Kafka et une théorie rhétorique du récit peuvent faire l’un pour l’autre.” Théorie,

analyse, interpretation des récits/Theory, Analysis, Interpretation of

 Narratives. Ed. Sylvie Patron.  Bern: Peter Lang, 2011. 95-117.


“Toward a Rhetorical Perspective on Social Minds.” Style 45, 2 (2011):  319-



“Narratee, Narrative Audience, and Second-Person Narration:  How I—

and you?–Read ‘How.’”  Short Story Criticism 147. Detroit: Gale Publishing,

  1. (reprint)


“Introduction.” Teaching Narative Theory.  With David Herman and Brian

McHale.  New York: MLA Publications (2010): 1-15.


“Teaching Voice; Or Authors, Narrators, and Audiences.”  Teaching

Narrative Theory.  252-65.


“Imagining a Sequel to The Rhetoric of Fiction; Or A Dialogue on

Dialogue.”  Comparative Critical Studies 7 (2010): 243-55.


“A True Book, with Some Stretchers”—and Some Humbug: Twain, Huck

and the Reader’s Experience of Huckleberry Finn.” Foreign Literature



“Narrative Technique.” Encyclopedia of the Novel, ed. Peter Logan.



“Rhetoric, Ethics, Aesthetics, and Probability in Fiction and Nonfiction:

Pride and Prejudice and The Year of Magical Thinking.” Reception: Texts,

 Readers, Audiences, History, 2 (Summer 2010)


“Partial Badness.” American Book Review 31, 2 (January-February 2010):



“Rhetorical Poetics and Other Issues in Contemporary Narrative Theory: An

Interview with James Phelan.” Contemporary Foreign Literature, 31. 2

(Summer 2010): 153-159.


“Introduction.”  Talking about Teaching 4 (2010: 1-3.


“Teaching Narrative as Rhetoric: The Example of Time’s Arrow.”

Pedagogy 10, 1 (2010): 217-28.


“The Literary Theoretical Contribution of Ralph W. Rader.”  Narrative 10

(2010): 73-90.


“Cognitive Narratology, Rhetorical Narratology, and Interpretive

Disagreement: A Response to Alan Palmer’s Analysis of Enduring Love.”

Style 43 (2009): 309-21


“Rhetoric and Ethics in The Great Gatsby; Or, Fabula, Progression, and the

Functions of Nick Carraway.”  Approaches to Teaching The Great

Gatsby.  Eds. Jackson Breyer and Nancy van Arsdale. New York: MLA,



“Narratives in Contest; Or, Another Twist in the Narrative Turn.”  PMLA 123

(2008): 166-75.


“The Beginning of Beloved: A Rhetorical Approach.” Narrative Beginnings.

Ed. Brian Richardson. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008, 195-212.


“Completion and Farewell.” American Book Review, 29, 2, January-

February (2008), 6.



“Introduction: Joseph Conrad and Narrative Theory.” Joseph

Conrad: Voice, Sequence, History, Genre. Columbus: Ohio State University

Press, 2008. 1-22. With Jakob Lothe and Jeremy Hawthorn.


“‘I affirm nothing’: Lord Jim and the Uses of Textual Recalcitrance.” Joseph Conrad: Voice, Sequence, History, Genre. Columbus: Ohio State University Press (2008): 41-59.


“Afterword.” Joseph Conrad: Voice, Sequence, History, Genre. 257-62.

With Jakob Lothe and Jeremy Hawthorn.


“But What’s the Right Answer? Bottom Lines in Teaching the Humanities.”

Talking about Teaching 3 (2008): 33-40.


“Estranging Unreliability, Bonding Unreliability, and the Ethics of Lolita.”

Narrative Unreliability in the Twentieth-Century First-Person Novel. Eds. Elke

D’hoker and Gunther Martens. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008. 7-28.

(reprint).  This essay also appeared in two Chinese translations in 2008.


“The Ethical Turn and Rhetorical Narrative Ethics: An Interview with James

Phelan” by Tang Weisheng. Foreign Literature Studies 29, 3 (2007): 9-18.


“Rhetoric/Ethics.”  The Cambridge Companion to Narrative. Ed. David

Herman.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007: 203-16.


“Estranging Unreliability, Bonding Unreliability, and the Ethics of Lolita.” Narrative 15 (Spring 2007):  222-38.


“Wayne C. Booth: The Effect of His Being.” Pedagogy  7 (2007):  91-98.


“Wayne C. Booth, 1921-1985.”  Narrative 14 (2006):  113-15.


“Rhetorical Aesthetics and Other Issues in the Study of Literary Narrative.”

Narrative Inquiry 16 (2006): 89-97.


“Rhetoric, Politics, and Ethics, in Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo.”  What Democracy Looks Like. Eds. Amy Lang and Cecilia

Tichi. New Brunswick:  Rutgers University Press (2006).


“Dialogue with Stanley Fish: From ‘Data, Danda, and Disagreement.’”  In

The Critical Tradition, 3rd edition, edited by David H. Richter. Bedford/St.

Martin’s: Boston, 2006: 1031-34. (Reprint of excerpt from1981 essay below).


“On First Lines, and the First Lines of Pride and Prejudice and If on a

 Winter’s Night a Traveler.” American Book Review, 27, 2, January-February


“Introduction: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Narrative

Theory.”  A Companion to Narrative Theory.  Oxford: Blackwell

(2005). 1-16. With Peter J. Rabinowitz.


“Narrative Judgments and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative: The Case

of McEwan’s Atonement.” A Companion to Narrative Theory. Oxford: Blackwell (2005).  322-36.


“Narrative.”  New Dictionary of the History of Ideas.  Detroit: Thomson

Gale, 2005.


“Voice, He Wrote.”  Narrative 13 (2005): 1-9.


“Who’s Here? Thoughts on Narrative Imperialism and the Narrative Identity

Thesis.”   Narrative 13 (2005): 205-10.


“Rhetorical Ethics and Lyric Narrative: Robert Frost’s ‘Home Burial.’”

Poetics Today 25 (2004): 627-51.


“The Rhetoric and Ethics of Lyric Narrative: Hemingway’s ‘A Clean, Well-

Lighted Place.’” Frame (2004).


“Reading across Identity Borders: A Rhetorical Analysis of

John Edgar Wideman’s ‘Doc’s Story.’  Reading Sites, ed. Elizabeth Flynn and Patrocinio Schweikart.  New York: MLA Publications, 2004. 39-59.


“Narrative as Rhetoric and Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever”:

Progression, Configuration, and the Ethics of Surprise.”  A Companion to Rhetoric, ed. Wendy Olmstead and Walter Jost. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. 340-354.


Entries on “Distance,” “Progression,” “Rhetorical Approaches to Narrative,” for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (2004)


Entries on “Narrator” and “Narrative Techniques” for RENT with Wayne C. Booth (2004).


“Dual-Focalization, Retrospective Fictional Autobiography, and the Ethics of Lolita.”  Narrative and Consciousness. Eds. Gary D. Fireman, Ted E. McVay, and Owen J. Flanagan. New York: Oxford UP 2003. 129-45.


“The Beginning and Early Middle of Persuasion; Or, Form and Ideology in Austen’s Experiment with Narrative Comedy.”  Partial Answers, vol. 1, no. 1 (2003): 65-87.


“Voice, Distance Temporal Perspective, and the Dynamics of A Farewell to Arms.”  Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, volume 115. Detroit: Gale, 2002. (Reprint of essay in Narrative as Rhetoric)


“September 11, 2001 and Narrative Explanation.” Narrative 10 (2002): 104-06.


“What Do We Owe Texts? Respect, Irreverence, or Nothing at All?” A Dialogue with James R. Kincaid. Professions: Conversations on the Future of Literary and Cultural  Studies.  Ed. Donald E. Hall. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001. 60-86.


“Redundant Telling, Preserving the Mimetic, and the Functions of Character Narration.”  Narrative 9 (2001): 210-16.


“On Teaching Critical Arguments: A Matrix of Understanding.” Pedagogy 1 (2001): 527-300.


“Why Narrators Can Be Focalizers–and Why It Matters.”  New Perspectives on Narrative Perspective.  Ed. Seymour Chatman and Will van Peer.  Albany:  SUNY Press, 2001. 51-64.


“Sethe’s Choice: The Ethics of Reading in Beloved.” Mapping the

Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory. Ed. Todd F. Davis and Kenneth Womack. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001. 93-109. (Reprint)


“Narrative Theory: Two Stories.”  PMLA 115 (2000): 1992-93. With Wayne C. Booth.


“Authorial Readers, Flesh and Blood Readers, and the Recursiveness of

Rhetorical Reading.” Reader no. 43 (2000): 65-69.


“What Do We Owe Texts? Respect, Irreverence, or Nothing at All?” A Dialogue with James R. Kincaid. Critical Inquiry 25 (1999): 758-83.


“On the Emotional Logic of Tragedy.”  Review 21 (1999): 47-58.


“The Lessons of ‘Weymouth’: Homodiegesis, Unreliability, Ethics, and The Remains of the DayNarratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Ed. David Herman. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1999. 88-109.  Chinese translation 2001; Danish translation 2004


“Sethe’s Choice: The Ethics of Reading in Beloved.” Style 32, 2 (1998): 318-33.


Entries on “Beginnings and Endings,” “Plot,” and A Farewell to ArmsThe Encyclopedia of the Novel.  Ed. Paul Schellinger.  Chicago:  Fitzroy-Dearborn, 1998.


“‘Now I Lay Me’: Nick’s Strange Monologue, Hemingway’s Powerful Lyric, and the Reader’s Disconcerting Experience.”  New Essays on the Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.  Ed. Paul Smith.  New York:  Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998. 47-72.


“Sandra Cisneros’s ‘Woman Hollering Creek’: Narrative as Rhetoric and as Social Practice.” Narrative 6 (1998): 221-35.


“Character, Progression, and Thematism in 1984.George Orwell.  Ed. Graham Holderness, Bryan Loughery, and Nahem Yousaf. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1998. 97-114. Reprint of pp. 28-43 from Reading People, Reading Plots.


Before Reading in Its Own Terms.”  Preface to reprint of Peter J. Rabinowitz, Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and the Politics of Interpretation.  Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1998. ix-xxv.


“Assessing Narratives Proclaiming the Death of Something.” Narrative 6 (1998): 96-101.


“Narrative as Rhetoric: Reading the Spells of Porter’s “Magic.”  The Critical Tradition, second edition.  Ed. David H. Richter.  Boston:  Bedford Books,1998.[Rpt. of Introduction to Narrative as Rhetoric]


“Listening to Shelly.” Hypotheses.  No. 21 (Spring 1997): 8-11.


“Toward a Rhetorical Reader Response Criticism:  The Difficult, the Stubborn and the Ending of Beloved.”  Toni Morrison:  Critical and Theoretical Approaches.  Ed. Nancy J. Peterson.  (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1997).  225-44. (Rpt.)


“Charlie Marlow, Narrative Theorist, Discourses on ‘Youth.’”  College English 59 (1997): 569-75.


“Sharing Secrets.”  The Secret Sharer: A Casebook in Contemporary Criticism.  Ed. Daniel R. Schwartz.  Boston:  Bedford Books, 1997.  128-44.


“The Life of the Mind, Politics, and Critical Argument: A Reply to Jeffrey Williams.”  College Literature 23, 3 (1996):  147-61.


Entries on “Wayne C. Booth” and “Rhetoric and Fiction.”  The Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition.  Ed. Theresa Enos.  New York:  Garland, 1996.  81-82; 609-12.


“Narrative Theory.”  The Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition.  Ed. Theresa Enos.  New York:  Garland, 1996.  454-57.  With Elizabeth Patnoe.


“Teaching James and the Ethics of Fiction:  A Conversation on The Spoils of Poynton.”  Henry James Review 17 (1996):  256-63.


“Teaching Theorizing/Theorizing Teaching.”  Literary Theory:  Curriculum, Pedagogy, Politics.  Ed. James Slevin and Arthur Young.  Urbana, Illinois:  NCTE, 1996.  223-37.


“Functions of Character.”  Narrative/Theory.  Ed. David H. Richter.  White Plains, New York:  Longman, 1996.  108-22.  Rpt. of pages 1-14 of Reading People.


“How to Solve the Huck Problem.”  The Washington Post, August 17, 1995.  (With Gerald Graff.)  Rptd. in Atlanta Constitution, Bergen Record, elsewhere.


Self-Help for Narratee and Narrative Audience:  How I– and you?–Read “How.”  Style  28 (1994):  350-65.


“Pluralism, Politics, and the Evaluation of Criticism.”  Rhetoric and Pluralism: Legacies of Wayne C. Booth.  Ed. Fred Antczak.  Columbus:  Ohio State University Press, 1994.


“Reading for the Character and Reading for the Progression: The Example of Great Expectations and John Wemmick.” Great Expectations:  A Critical Casebook.  Ed. Roger Sell.  London:  Macmillan, 1995.  [Reprint of Chapter 4 of Reading People]


“Narrating the PC Controversies: Thoughts on Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal Education.”  Narrative 2 (1994): 244-67.


“A Monologic Imagination”  (Reply to D’Souza’s Response).  Narrative 2 (1994):  270-71.


“Understanding Narrative.”   In Understanding Narrative.  With Peter J. Rabinowitz.  1-15.


“Present Tense Narration, Mimesis, the Narrative Norm, and the Positioning of the Reader in Waiting for the Barbarians.”  In Understanding Narrative.  222-45.


“Toward a Rhetorical Reader Response Criticism:  The Difficult, the Stubborn and the Ending of Beloved.”  Modern Fiction Studies 39 (1993): 709-28.


“What Hemingway and a Rhetorical Theory of Narrative Can Do For Each Other:  The Example of ‘My Old Man.’”  The Hemingway Review  12, 2  (1993):  1-14.


“What Does It Mean to Work At Reading Narratives?”  With James Sosnoski.  Modern Fiction Studies 38  (1992):  927-38.


“Why Wayne Booth Can’t Get with the Program; Or, The Nintentional Fallacy.”  Rhetoric Society Quarterly 22, 3  (1992): 54-58.


Entries on “Literary Criticism Since 1960,”  “Wayne C. Booth,” and “The Chicago Critics.”  Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature.  Ed. George Perkins.  HarperCollins, 1991.


“Is King Lear Like the Washington Monument or the Pacific Ocean?:  Pluralism and Literary Interpretation.”  The Monist 73 (1990):  421-36.


“Character and Judgment in Narrative and in Lyric: Toward an Understanding of Audience Engagement in The Waves.”  Style 24  (1990):  408-21.  Reprinted in Literary Character, Ed. John Knapp.  Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1993.


Vanity Fair: Listening as a Rhetorician–and a Feminist.”  Out of Bounds: Male Writers and Gender(ed) Criticism.  Ed. Laura Claridge and Elizabeth Langland.  Amherst:  University of Massachusetts Press, 1990.  132-147.  Reprinted in Norton Critical Edition of Vanity Fair.


“Distance, Voice, and Temporal Perspective in Frederic Henry’s Narration: Powers, Problems, Paradox.”  New Essays on A Farewell to Arms.  Ed. Scott Donaldson.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1990.  53-73.


“On the Nature and Status of Covert Texts:  A Reply to Gerry Brenner’s ‘Letter to De Ole True Huck.’” Journal of Narrative Technique 20 (1990):  235-44.  Reprinted in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:  A Case Study in Critical Controversy.


“Reading for the Character and Reading for the Progression:  The Example of Great Expectations and John Wemmick.”  Journal of Narrative Technique 19 (1989): 70-84.


“Introduction:  Dialogue and Diversity in Narrative Theory.”  Reading Narrative: ix-xviii..


“Introduction:  Poetics in Contemporary Narrative Theory.”  Papers in Comparative Studies 5 (1986-87):  1-9.


“Narrative Discourse, Character, and Ideology.”  Reading Narrative: 132-46.


“Character in Fictional Narrative: The Example of John Marcher.”  Henry James Review 9 (1988): 105-13.


“Wayne C. Booth.”  Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 67 (1988): 49-66.


“Character, Progression, and the Mimetic-Didactic Distinction.”  Modern Philology 84 (1987): 282-99.


“Meaning as Concept and Extension: Some Problems.”  With James L. Battersby.  Critical Inquiry 12 (1986): 605-15.


“Selling with Character.”  College English 50 (1986): 480-83.


“Thematic Reference, Literary Structure, and Fictive Character: An Examination of Interrelationships.”  Semiotica 49, 3-4 (1984): 345-65.


“Pluralism and Its Powers, Metapluralism and Its Problems.”  College English 48 (1984): 63-73.


“Data, Danda, and Disagreement.”  Diacritics, 13 (1983): 39-50.


“A Supplementary Bibliography, 1961-82.”  In Wayne C. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction, 2nd ed., (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983): 495-520.


“Validity Redux: The Relation of Author, Reader, and Text in the Act of  Interpretation.”  Papers in Comparative Studies 1 (1982): 80-111.





Walter Jost, ed.  The Essential Wayne BoothAmerican Book Review January-February,  2007.


Martin Kreiswirth, et al.  The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory. 2nd Edition. University of Toronto quarterly (2006).


Dorrit Cohn. The Distinction of FictionModern Fiction Studies (2000).


Terry Caesar.  Conspiring with FormsJournal of Higher Education (1994).


Tobin Siebers.  The Ethics of CriticismModern Philology  88 (1990).


Bruce Kawin.  The Mind of the Novel:  Reflexive Fiction and the IneffableModern Philology  83 (1985):  98-101.


Susan Sniader Lanser.  The Narrative Act:  Point of View in Prose FictionCriticism  25 (1983):  69-71.


Jonathan Culler.  The Pursuit of Signs:  Semiotics, Deconstruction, LiteratureModern Philology  80 (1982):  222-25.


Barbara Herrnstein Smith.  On the Margins of Discourse: The Relation of Literature to LanguageModern Philology 78 (1981):  340-43.



INVITED AND KEYNOTE LECTURES (selected—last several years)


University of Cincinnati (2019),Cornell University (2018), University of Tennessee (2017), Chinese International Narratology Society, Shanghai (2017), Kunming (2015), Columbia Teachers College (2017); Stony Brook Graduate Student Conference (2017),Conference on Rhetoric/Senses/Emotions, Aarhus, Denmark (2017) Summer Institute for Narrative Studies—Sandeborg, Denmark (2015), Intensive Program in Narrative Studies—Aarhus, Denmark (2011, 2012)

Virginia Commonwealth University (2015), Dartmouth College (2015),

Washington University in St. Louis (2014), Uppsala University-Sweden

(2014), Linkoping University (2014), University of Stockholm (2014), University

of Oslo (2014), Aarhus University (2014, 2013, 2012),  Harvard University (2013),  Bentley University (2013), Conference on Mad Narrators, Bordeaux,

France, 2012);  University of Giessen (2012);  Narrative Matters Conference,

Paris (2012); Narrative Theory, East and West, Beijing (2012);  University of

Aarhus (2012), University of Copenhagen (2012), University of Southern Denmark (2012).


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (selected–last seven years)


“Inside the Mind of an Editor.”  MLA Convention.  Chicago, January 3, 2019.

“Narrative as Rhetoric and the MTS Model,” International Society for the Study of Narrative Conference, Montreal, April 19, 2018.

“The Mind of an Editor,” MLA Convention, New York, January 4, 2018.

“Narrative as Rhetoric.”  Collaboratory on Medicine, Narrative, Rhetoric, and Disability. Columbus, January 27, 2017,

“Local Fictionality within Global Nonfiction.”  International Society for the Study of Narrative.  Lexington, KY, March 27, 2017.

“Literary Nonfiction.”  Fictionality in Literature: Revisiting Core Concepts.  Aarhus, Denmark. May 2017.

“The Mind of an Editor.”  MLA Conference, Austin, Texas, January 2016.


“Probable Impossibilities: Aristotle, Sheldon Sacks, and Jhumpa Lahiri.” University of             Chicago, January 2016.


“A Rhetorical Paradigm for Narrative Studies.” Conference on the Future of Literary

Studies, Oslo.  June 2016


“Local Nonfictionality in Global Fiction.”  Conference of the International Society for

the Study of Narrative. Amsterdam, June 2016.


Seminar on “Fictionality and the Rise of the Narrative Audience.”  Aarhus University,     December 2016.


“Reliable, Unreliable, and Deficient Narration: A Rhetorical Poetics.”

Chinese International Narratology Conference.  Kunming, November 2015.


“The Rhetorical Paradigm for Narrative Studies” and “Local Fictionality in

Global Nonfiction and Vice Versa.” Summer Institute for Narrative Studies,

Sandeborg, Denmark, August 2015.


“Local Fictionality in Global Nonfiction: Roz Chast’s  Can’t We Talk

            about Something More Pleasant?” Conference of the international

Society for the Study of Narrative.  Chicago, IL. March 7, 2015.


“The Mind of an Editor.”  MLA Convention, Vancouver, CA. January 9,



“Coover’s ‘The Babysitter’ and the Experience of Fiction.” Conference of

the International Society for the Study of Narrative.  Cambridge, MA.

March 27, 2014.


“The Chicago School and Narrative across the Disciplines; Or, Ralph Rader

and Narrative Medicine.”  MLA Convention, Chicago. January 10, 2014.


“A Rhetorical Approach to Plot and Progression.” Conference of the

International Society for the Study of Narrative.  Manchester, England.

June 27, 2013.



“Short Story Theory and Other Narrative Theory:  From Parallel Play to Productive Interaction.”  MLA Convention, Boston, January 6, 2013.


“Narrative Fiction, the Short Story, and Identity: The Case of Tobias Wolff’s ‘Bullet in the Brain’.” Conference on Narrative Rhetoric and Negotiating Identity.  Aarhus University, May 16, 2012.


“Authorial Disclosure and Conversational Disclosure in The Friends of Eddie Coyle.” International Conference on Narrative, Las Vegas, March 16, 2012.


“Dialogue, Voice, and Tone; Or, Exploring a Neglected Channel of Narrative Communication.” MLA Convention, Seattle, January 6, 2012.







Project Narrative Summer Institute, 2018 (with Brian McHale), 2016 (with Jared Gardner), 2015 (with Angus Fletcher), 2011 (with Frederick Aldama), and 2010 (with Robyn Warhol)



Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Narrative Theory; Harry Potter and Narrative Theory; Jane Austen and Contemporary Popular Culture; Freshman Composition, Informative Writing, Critical Writing; Introduction to Fiction, Masterpieces of English Literature I & II, The Individual and Society, Masterpieces of American Literature; Studies in Fiction (The Sense of an Ending; Narrative Tragedy; Point of View in Fiction; Plot, Progression, and Theory of Fiction);  History of Literary Criticism; Linguistics and Literature; Studies in Critical Theory; The Relation of Language and Literature; Narrative Theory:  Form, Ethics, Ideology; Literary Studies and the Real World; Twentieth Century American Fiction; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Culture Wars; Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory; Film and Literature: Adaptation; Beginnings and Endings in Modernist Narrative; Studies in a Major Author: Ian McEwan; Narrative and Medicine; Thinking Theoretically



Literature for Physicians: From the Page to the Bedside; Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory; Introduction to the Medical Humanities and Social Sciences; Narrative Theory, Narrative Medicine, and Medical Narratives; Narrative Discourse and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative; Theories of Form and Formal Innovation in the Twentieth-Century; Introduction to Graduate Study; Narrative Beginnings and Endings; Critical Approaches to Literature; Nineteenth Century British Fiction; The Theory of Fiction; History of Criticism; Introduction to Critical Theory, 1900-Present; Studies in Critical Theory (The Relation Between Language and Literature; The New Criticism and After; Theories of Narrative; The History of Rhetoric and the History of Criticism; Reader Response Criticism; Issues in the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative;) Character, Progression, and the Interpretation of Narrative; Narrative Discourse; Studies in Rhetoric: The Split Between Literature and Composition; Narrative Theory; Narrative Ethics; Narrative Discourse: A Rhetorical Perspective; Issues in the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative; Writing for Publication; Dissertation Seminar


Dissertations Directed:  approximately 30


Dissertation Committee Member: approximately 35


Dissertations in Progress: directing or co-directing 3; committee member of another 8




Departmental Service (selected)


Director, Project Narrative, 2008-10; 2016—


Director, Medical Humanities Programs, 2015–

Department Chair, 1994—2002

Director of Graduate Studies, 1986-89

Chair, New Personnel Committee, 1991-93


Chair, Awards Committee, 2017-18


Undergraduate Studies Committee, 2011-12; 2004-06; 1981-83


Graduate Studies Committee, 2008-11; 2006-07;  1993-94; 1978-81


Course Director, Introduction to Fiction, 2004-2007


Acting Chair, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Autumn 2004


Member, Executive Committee, 1979-81, 1985-87, 1990-92

Chair, Teaching Effectiveness Committee, 1990-91


Member, Placement Committee, 1990, 1992


Member, Search Committee for New Chair, 1982-83


College and University Service (selected)

Chair, Selection Committee for Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer, 2017


Chair, Selection Committee for Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, 2016


Working Group on Humanities and Medicine, 2014-


Senate Committee to Review University Budget System, 2013-14


Distinguished Scholar Selection Committee, 2011–2013


Search Committee for Associate Dean of the Graduate School, 2011


Selection Committee, Distinguished University Professor, 2010


Selection Committee, Humanities Distinguished Professor, 2005, 2010


President and Provost’s Advisory Committee, 2008-


Chair, Graduate Council of the Graduate School, 2008—11


Arts and Sciences Federation Review Committee, 2007-08


Executive Committee, Academy of Teaching, 2007-10


Arts and Sciences Leadership Committee (elected), 2004-07. Chair of Subcommittee on Defining the Value of an ASC Degree


Mentor for Pranav Jani, Diversity Enhancement Program, 2006—2011

Provost’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Regional Campuses, 2004

Executive Committee, College of Humanities, 1994-2002


Dean’s Representative, History Department Chair Search Committee, 2000


Dean’s Representative, African and African American Studies Chair Search Committee, 1996


Arts and Sciences Executive Dean’s ad hoc Grievance Investigation

Committee, 1999


Provost’s Grievance Investigation Committee, 1995

Chair, Ohio State University Press Editorial Board, 1992-99; Press Board Member 1989-92


Chair, College of Humanities Committee on Critical Theory, 1984-85


Member, Advisory Committee, OSU Division of Comparative Studies, 1984-85


Member, University Senate, 1986-89


Member, Steering Committee of the University Senate, 1986-87


Consultant for Tenure and Promotion Cases, OSU Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Language and Literature, 1985, 1986, 1992


Member, Petitions Committee, Colleges of the Arts and Sciences, 1982-84



SERVICE to the Profession



Secretary-Treasurer, International Society for the Study of Narrative, 2004–


President, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, 1989-90


Executive Council, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, 1986-89; ex officio since 1992


Advisory Board, Association for the Study of Arts of the Present, 2007—10


Executive Committee, MLA Division on Teaching Literature, 2002-07


External Program Reviewer, University of Toronto 2008; University of North Carolina 2006; University of South Florida, 2003; North Carolina State University, 1998; College of Wooster, 1997; Southern Illinois University, 1996; University of Nebraska, 1991, 1993.


Coordinator for First and Third, International Conferences on Narrative Literature, Columbus, April, 1986, 1988; Co-coordinator for Eleventh Conference, 1996; Co-cordinator for 2012 Conference, Las Vegas


Member, MLA Delegate Assembly, 1984-86, 2003-05; Committee on Resolutions, 1986, 1987


Consultant for Tenure and Promotion cases:


University of Oklahoma, University of Tennessee; Northwestern University; University of California, Santa Barbara; York University; Queen’s College; University of Louisville; University of California, Irvine (2); University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; Brandeis University; Virginia Polytechnical Institute; Georgia Tech (2); University of Texas (2); King Saud University (Saudi Arabia); Clarkson Institute; Temple University; Penn State University-Altoona; Northern Arizona University; University of West Florida; Stanford University; University of Tulsa, University of Kentucky; Open University of Israel; University of Findlay; University of West Virginia; Boise State University; University of California-Santa Barbara; University of North Carolina-Charlotte.


Reader of Manuscripts for


Critical Inquiry, Journal of Narrative Technique, PMLA, University of Chicago Press, Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Stanford University Press, Yale University Press, Columbia University Press, University of Toronto Press, Ohio State University Press, Indiana University Press, University of Missouri Press, University of Nebraska Press, Blackwell Press, Bedford Books, Edward Arnold Press, Johns Hopkins Press, University of Virginia Press



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