Robert K. Wallace's HOME Page
The above photo was taken south of Cannonball Island on the shore of the Olympic Peninsula in July 2009. It is one of many petroglyphs made by the ancient Ozette, members of a Makah whaling community which flourished along this shore until a landslide around the year 1500 ended their lives and buried all their possessions until the 1970s, when archaeological excavations resulted in the creation of the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay.
I am a native of Everett, Washington. I attended Whitman College and Columbia University before arriving at NKU as an assistant professor in 1972. I enjoy teaching writing courses and literature courses, as well as those that compare literature with other arts. Most of my research derives from courses I have taught. My books on Jane Austen and Mozart (1983) and Emily Bronte and Beethoven (1986) evolved from the Music and Literature course. Those on Melville and Turner (1992) and on Frank Stella's Moby Dick (2001) have evolved from courses in Literature and Painting and in Melville and the Arts. My book on Douglass and Melville (2005) derived from the course in those two authors that I first taught in 2003. My current scholarly work in progress also derives from my course in Melville and the Arts, a book on the 420 prints and engravings I have discovered from Herman Melville's personal collection of art.
Beginning in 1989, students in my English 151 and 291 classes have produced class magazines to showcase their own work and booklets to document world premiere plays in NKU's biennial Y. E. S. Play Festival. Beginning in 1994, students in various literature classes have created a variety of art works in response to the literature we have read.
Students in my 1996 and 1997 classes in Melville and the Arts preserved their individual and projects on their website Moby and the Net. Students in the Fall 2001 class in Emily Dickinson and Henry James created the website The Worlds of Dickinson and James Exploration through Classroom Creativity.
Literature courses I have taught most recently include Dickinson and James; Douglass and Melville; Melville and the Arts (crosslisted with Honors 303), and Cross-Cultural Exploration (in a Learning Community with Tom Zaniello, Honors). Since 1998 most of my writing courses (ENG 151 and ENG 291) have had a focus on Exploring the Arts. I will teach my first graduate in our new master's program in English during the Fall 2009 semester; the subject will be Douglass and Melville.
I am a past president of the Melville Society and a founding member of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, where I coordinated an International Conference on Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville in 2005. In August 2009 I gave a presnetation on Melville's nautical prints at an International Melville Society conference in Poland. In June 2009 I a paper on his Biblical prints at an international conference in Jerusalem..
I curated art exhibtions at the South Street Seaport in New York; at the New Bedford Art Museum, the Berkshire Athenaeum, and Herman Melville's Arrowhead home in Massachusetts; the Mixed Magic Theater in Rhode Island; and Rockford College in Illinois. From April - July 2009 I am guest curator for the exhibition Moby Dick: Heart of the Sea at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois. The three featured artists are George Klauba, from Chicago; Robert McCauley, from Mt. Vernon, Washington; and Kathleen Piercefield, from Dry Ridge, Kentucky (a 2004 graduate of NKU).
I have been a fan of NKU's women's basketball team since 1974, when Nancy Winstel was a student in my American Literature class. The 2006-07 team is the subject of my most recent book, Thirteen Women Strong: The Making of a Team, published in 2008. I am excited that this book has been chosen as NKU's Book Connection selection for 2009.
During July 2009 I traveled with NKU landscape painter Kevin Muente for two weeks in the Olympic Peninsula in my home state of Washington. I kept a journal of our experience while he painted what we saw. Since returning, he has continue to paint and I continued to write about our joint experience. We hope that this project will eventuate in a book whose working title is working title is Stitches in Time on the Olympic Peninsula.
You can contact me at: email@example.com.