James Phelan

United States
United States
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James Phelan is Distinguished University Professor and Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at Ohio State University. Born in Flushing, NY in 1951, he received his BA from Boston College (1972) and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1977). He began as an Assistant Professor at Ohio State in 1977, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1983, to Professor in 1989, to Humanities Distinguished Professor in 2004, and to Distinguished University Professor in 2008. In 2004 he received the University‚Äôs Distinguished Research Award and in 2007 the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. Phelan served as Department Chair from 1994-2002. 

Rather than working in only one historical period, Phelan gravitates toward theoretical issues or problems, most often connected with the genre of narrative, and pursues them in texts from different periods. His recent work, however, has focused primarily on twentieth-century British and American narrative, and he now claims the twentieth-century as a specialty.  Much of his research has been devoted to developing a comprehensive rhetorical theory of narrative.  He  has written about style in Worlds from Words, about character and narrative progression in Reading People, Reading Plots, about technique, ethics, and audiences in Narrative as Rhetoric, about character narration in Living to Tell about It, and about progression (again) and reader judgments in Experiencing Fiction.  His forthcoming book, Reading the American Novel, 1920-2010, offers rhetorical readings of ten canonical novels written across this ninety year period.

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Patricia Tomaszek