David Thoreen, Ph.D.

Professor of English

508-767-7583 Founders Hall - Room 227

Degrees Earned

B.A., St. John’s University; English, 1985
M.F.A., Bowling Green State University; Creative Writing, Fiction, 1987
Ph.D., S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook; English, 1994
Ph.D. Thesis Title: “Brave New World Democracy: Manifest Destiny in the Fiction of Joan Didion, Robert Stone, and Thomas Pynchon”

Undergraduate Courses Taught

Creative Writing
The Modern Short Story
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to Film Studies
Survey of American Literature
Special Topics in American Literature: David Foster Wallace
Special Topics in American Literature: George Saunders and the Spirit of Satire
English Composition
Honors Introduction to Literature
Senior Seminar in Literature

Writing and Research

Professor Thoreen’s intellectual pursuits include creative writing, story structure, and narrative poetry, as well as American literature more generally, from Anne Bradstreet to Junot Diaz.  Writers of particular interest include Joan Didion, E. L. Doctorow, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, and George Saunders.

Honors and Awards

Professor Thoreen has been recognized for his fiction and poetry, most recently by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, which named him a Tennessee Williams Scholar.  He has also won Minnesota Monthly’s Tamarack Award for Fiction and the Worcester County Poetry Association’s annual poetry contest, a Devine Fellowship for Fiction, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations

Four Poems:  “Io Sono Una Bella Luna,” “How to Know the Difference Between a Hawk and a Handsaw,” “November,” “On a Line from Millay.”  New Letters 85.2-3 (2019): 125-29.

“I’m President and You’re Not.”  Seneca Review 48.1 (Spring 2018): 102.

“Winter Wheat.”  The Alembic (Spring 2017): 136.

“The Etymology of ‘Good-Bye’: Vestigial Language in Charles Baxter’s ‘Poor Devil,’” delivered at The Association for Core Texts and Courses 22nd Annual Conference (Plymouth, MA), April 9-12, 2015.

In the Radiance of That Justice: Kafka’s Penal Colony as Plato’s Republic,” delivered at

The Association for Core Texts and Courses 18th Annual Conference (Yale University), April 14-17, 2011.

“Late Fall, Early Snow.”  Slush Pile.  Ed. Rachel Branwen.  Apr. 2009.

“Release from Hiroshima Hospital” and “A Streetcar.”  Great River Review 49 (Fall-Winter, 2008): 26-28.

“Master of None.”  Natural Bridge 13 (Spring 2005): 186.

“Minnesota.”  Slate.  Ed. Robert Pinsky.  9 Dec. 2003. 
https://slate.com/culture/2003/12/minnesota.html.

“The Fourth Amendment and Other Modern Inconveniences: Undeclared War, Organized Labor, and the Abrogation of Civil Rights in Vineland.”  Thomas Pynchon: Reading from the Margins.  Ed. Niran Abbas.  Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2003. 215-33.

“The Narrative Structure of Barry Hannah’s ‘Water Liars.’”  Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures 54 (2001): 223-36.

“Infernal Machines, Tribal Evil, and Individual Resistance: Tobias Wolff’s ‘In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,’” delivered at the Global Conference on Evil and Human Wickedness (Anglo-American College, Prague, Czech Republic), March 2001. 

Thoreen, D. “The President’s Emergency Powers and the Erosion of Civil Rights in Vineland,” delivered at the Programme for International Pynchon Studies (King’s College, London), June 1998. 

Publications & Editorships

“In which ‘Acts Have Consequences’: Ideas of Moral Order in the Qualified Postmodernism of Pynchon’s Recent Fiction.” American Postmodernity: Essays on the Recent Fiction of Thomas Pynchon. Ed. Ian Copestake. New York: Peter Lang, 2003: 49-70.

Thoreen, D. “The Fourth Amendment and Other Modern Inconveniences: Undeclared War, Organized Labor, and the Abrogation of Civil Rights in Vineland.” Thomas Pynchon: Reading from the Margins. Ed. Niran Abbas. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2002: 215-33.

Thoreen, D. “The Narrative Structure of Barry Hannah’s ‘Water Liars.’” Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures 54 (2001): 223-36.

“A Narrative of Adverse Possession.” Confrontation (forthcoming).

“Immigrant.” The Alembic (Spring 2005): 38-39.

“So This Is Short Hills.” The Journal 29.1 (Spring-Summer 2005): 74-75.

“Master of None.” Natural Bridge 13 (Spring 2005): 186.

“Minnesota.” 9 Dec. 2003. Slate. Ed. Robert Pinsky. Microsoft Network. 2003.

Thoreen, D. “Even This Is an Advertisement” and “A Tour of the Premises.” The Journal 27.1 (Spring 2003): 40-41.

Thoreen, D. “There’s No Word Longer Than a Loaded Gun.” Worcester Review 23.2 (2002): 72.

Thoreen, D. “How to Do It.” Diner 2.2 (Fall-Winter 2002): 52.

Presentations

Thoreen, D. “Infernal Machines, Tribal Evil, and Individual Resistance: Tobias Wolff’s ‘In the Garden of the North American Martyrs.’” 2nd Global Conference on Evil and Human Wickedness (Anglo-American College, Prague, Czech Republic, March 2001). 

Thoreen, D. “McKeesian Structural Analysis and Barry Hannah’s ‘Water Liars.’” Language into Light: The Written Word Becomes Cinema (Morgantown, WV, September 1999). 

Thoreen, D. “The President’s Emergency Powers and the Erosion of Civil Rights in Vineland.” Programme for International Pynchon Studies (Antwerp and London, June 1998). 

Thoreen, D. “Selections from Someplace Else.” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting (New Orleans, April 18, 2003). 

Thoreen, D. “A Streetcar and Other Poems.” Twentieth-Century Literature Conference (Louisville, KY, February 28-March 1, 2003). 

Thoreen, D. D’Alzon Arts Series. Emmanuel D’Alzon Library, Assumption College, September 19, 2002. 

Thoreen, D. “Selections from a ms. in progress.” Chenango Valley Writers’ Conference (Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, June 19, 2002). 

Thoreen, D. “At the MLA and Other Poems.” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference (Albuquerque, NM, February 16, 2002). 

Thoreen, D. The Holy Cross Institute on Writing and Teaching (College of the Holy Cross, July 30, 1997)

Grants and Awards

Faculty Development Grant Recipient, 2007. A Sordid Sonnets