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), on Frank Stella's Moby Dick (2001),and on Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick (2013) have evolved from courses 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.  During the Fall 2016 I will teach a graduate course in Frederick Douglass and Cincinnati Antislavery, the subject of my current book project.  

Literature courses I have taught most recently include Douglass and Melville, Dickinson and the Arts, Melville and the Arts (often crosslisted with Honors 303). Since 1998 most of my writing courses (ENG 151 and ENG 291) have had a focus on Exploring the Arts. 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.  

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. I have presented papers at our subsequent international conferences in Poland (2007), Jerusalem (2009), Rome (2011). Washington DC (22013), and Tokyo (2015).

I have curated exhibitions on Melville and the Arts in New York City, New Bedford and Pittsfield in Massachusetts, Chicago and Rockford in Illinios, and in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Northern Kentucky.  In February 2015 I coordinated an Emily Dickinson Arts Fest to accompany the exhibition at NKU of Dickinson art created students in my classes over a seventeen year period (I took my Power in my Hand, with catalog coedited by Emma Rose Thompson) and in April 2015 coordinated a Moby-Dick Arts Fest to accompany the exhibition at the Covington Public Library of Moby-Dick art created by students in my classes over a twenty-year period (Moby Comes to Covington, with catalog co-edited by Emma Rose Thompson).  The two Arts Fests are the subject of my book-length blog Dickinson and Moby-Dick in 2015 at

During the Spring Semester 2016, I am co-curating two Moby-Dick art exhibitions that will open in Cincinnati in April.  The two-man exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center features Matt Kish and Robert Del Tredici and is co-curated by Steven Matijcio.  The eight-woman exhibition at the Marta Hewett Gallery features Claire Illouz, Aileen Callahan, Kathleen Piercefield, Abby Langdon, Monica Namyar, Claire Sparks, Mary Belperio, and Danielle Wallace.  In preparation for those exhibitions I am writing a blog “Moby-Dick in Cincinnati in 2016” at

I have been a fan of NKU's women's basketball team since 1974, when future coach Nancy Winstel was a student in my American Literature class. My book about the 2006-07. Thirteen Women Strong: The Making of a Team, was published in 2008 and was 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.  We gave a joint exhibition at NKU whose catalog is entitled Stitches in Time on the Olympic Peninsula.

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