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Donald Wesling

Ph.D. (Harvard)

Professor Emeritus of English Literature


Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Poetry; Poetics and Metrics; Prose and Poetry of the Natural World; Modern Scottish Literature; Mikhaïl Bakhtin and Dialogism

Donald Wesling earned his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University, and in between these took another B.A. degree at Cambridge University in England. He taught for three years at the University of Essex in England, but has spent most of his career at UC San Diego--where he was also Chair of the Department of Literature from 1985 to 1988. (He has held fellowships in London, Durham, and Leningrad, and during 1997-1998 was Otto Salgo Professor with an endowed Chair at Budapest.) Primarily he teaches courses in English and Scottish literature since 1750, focusing on poetry. He also teaches poetry and fiction in the Writing Major, and courses in Theory like History of Criticism.

Selected Publications:

Wordsworth and the Adequacy of Landscape. London: Routledge, 1970.

The Chances of Rhyme: Device and Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

John Muir: To Yosemite and Beyond, Writings from the Yosemite Years, 1863-1975 (co-edited with Robert Engberg). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1980.

Internal Resistances: The Poetry of Edward Dorn (editor, and with a chapter by Donald Wesling). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

The New Poetries: Poetic Form Since Wordsworth and Coleridge. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.: Bucknell University Press, 1985.

Literary Voice: The Calling of Jonah (with Tadeusz Slawek). Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.

The Scissors of Meter: Grammetrics and Reading. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.

Bakhtin and the Social Moorings of Poetry. Bucknell VP. 2003.

Joys and Sorrows of Imaginary Persons (On Literary Emotions). (Rodopi: Amsterdam, 2008).

"The Speaking Subject in Russian Poetry and Poetics Since 1917," New Literary History, 23.1 (Winter 1992).

"Mikhaïl Bakhtin and the Social Poetics of Dialect," Papers on Language and Literature, 29.3 (Summer 1993).

"The Representational Moment in the Discourse of the Nation: Jean Baudrillard's America," Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, 4.1-2 (Debrecen, 1998).

Book: Joys and Sorrows of Imaginary Persons (On Literary Emotion).  Amsterdam: Rodopi Editions, 2008.

Review: of Jerome McGann, The Point is to Change It, University of Alabama Press, 2007, in Modern Language Quarterly, 69.4, December, 2008.

Essay: "Imagining Science in Kim Stanley Robinson's Novel Galileo's Dream," in Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, The Uses of Narrative: A Special Double Issue in Honor of Professor Zoltán Ábadi-Nagy, Debrecen, Hungary: Spring-Fall 2010, 16, 1-2, pages 87-108.

Review: of Jacob Blevens, ed., Dialogism and Lyric Self-Fashioning: Bakhtin and the Voices of a Genre, in Comparative Literature Studies, Penn State University Press, 47.2, 2010, pages 234-236.

Poems: "The Search of Appearance--Poems of Hungary," in Hungarian Review, A Bi-Monthly Journal from Central Europe, Budapest: III, 3, May 2012, pages 109-119.

Poems: "The Search of Appearance--Poems of Hungary, Second Selection," in Hungarian Review, Budapest: III, 4, July 2012, pages 115-119.

Book of Seven Short Stories: Women in Charge: Stories. Kindle and Nook Publishing, 2012, 170 pages.

Essay: "UK Poetry after Ezra Pound: Iain Sinclair and J.H. Prynne," Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, Lifelong Search for Meaning: A Special Double Issue in Honor of Professor Donald E. Morse, Debrecen, Hungary: Spring-Fall, 2012, 18. 1-2, pages 305-315.

Review: of Walter L. Reed, Romantic Literature in Light of Bakhtin, Broadview Press, 2014, in NewBooksOnline19: 2000 words, posted June 2014 on the internet review site.

Review: of Nick Thorpe, The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, Yale University Press, 2013. Forthcoming in Hungarian Review, Budapest, July 2014.

Essay: "On Companion Animals in Krasznahorkai."  Forthcoming in Hungarian Review, Budapest, in 2015.

Essay: "Bakhtin, Pushkin, and the Co-Creativity of Those Who Understand," a 46 page Report written for the 15th International Mikhail Bakhtin Conference, July-August 2014, Stockholm; available on request from DW.