English at Marietta College

Dr. Hogue Information

 

 

 


How I became a Professor:“My father was a lawyer and a judge, so growing up the default path for me was law school, and I was a big fan of reading lawyer’s memoirs, biographies, and crime stories. I went to college to major in Psychology and minor in English as a pre-law path, and once I started taking the literature classes, it occurred to me that there was really no other place I wanted to be than in a group of people talking about literature; there was nothing else I wanted to do, so then I started trying to find a career that would allow for that.”
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Before Marietta:“I taught as a teaching assistant as a graduate student at Marquette University first. I then taught in Japan for a year, and then I taught at the University of Toledo, also at some community colleges; I had a full-time job at a college called Owens Community College. Then I taught at Santa Clara University in California, Silicon Valley, and then I came here. I’ve been around [laughs].”
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What I like best about this campus:“I’ve always had an affinity for red brick [laughs]. Just kidding! I do like that it is a campus which is fairly easy to get to all the resources…when I came here, the library was not my favorite building, but I think we have a wonderful library now, so I have to say that’s a feature I like about it. The library space.”
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My area(s) of concentration:“Early-Modern British Literature, which is Shakespeare’s period. I also enjoy teaching Zombies. Zombies are my secondary area of interest as well. I mean, I actually don’t teach zombies, because, you know, they can’t learn, their brains are dead [laughs] but I like teaching about zombie literature.”TOP

I feel my strengths as a professor are:“I think I’m enthusiastic about the material I teach, and I certainly respect the students that I teach. I have an interest in them as people, and I have an interest in them not just as English majors, but just in wanting them to be better developed and happy.”
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I struggle with:“I think remaining current is something I’ve noticed…when I started teaching, the first class I taught was in 1989, I was twenty-one, and at Marquette they just put you in front of a class. So I was basically the same age as my students; and now I have college-age children, and so I’ve noticed how quickly I’ve lost the ability to kind of see things from their point of view. I think that’s what happens to professors, older professors. It’s just that they don’t change, they don’t lose the ability to do things, but what worked for a group of students in a certain formative generation when they were learning to teach – they’re teaching students of a certain generation and they form their skills to address them, and as society evolves, the students need different things, and the students just are not as responsive to you any more, and so I don’t think I’m there yet, but I do just see it often enough to know that that is kind of the normal course of things [laughs]. I worry about that as much as anything. I mean, I’m sure there’s a million little things I could do better, but I struggle to stay current with the needs of the students, to meet them where they are.”
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I revise my classes:“Every semester, every time I teach every one…The formula is, I keep thinking, ‘Well they’re not reading enough’ so I’ll give them more reading, and then I think like, ‘Well they’re not reading deeply enough’ so I’ll shorten the readings but drill down on them more, and finding that perfect fix of having them slog through enough but also read carefully enough, I’m still trying to find that formula. I don’t think I ever will [laughs].”
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What I want to gain from teaching:“I want to gain knowledge by teaching. I want to learn myself; again, my motivation for wanting to be a teacher was I didn’t want to stop being a student. I didn’t want to ever exit the conversation.”
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What I want my students to walk away with:“Hopefully some empowerment to go out and pursue whatever life they want to pursue, to have the skills necessary to do it, and to have the self-awareness to be able to decide what they really want. It’s not a guaranteed success; but at least a guaranteed knowledge of what you want to pursue and I think because then you’ll be fine if you don’t succeed [laughs]. You will know…I mean, half the people who go into Ph.D.s in English, half of them don’t finish their Ph.D. Those who finish their Ph.D., more than half of them don’t get jobs. But I was never going to regret it because I made an informed choice, ‘That was what I wanted to be.’ So I want the students to feel confident that whatever they decide to pursue is worth losing, worth failing at, because that is really what they’re determined to do. So that would be nice if students had that confidence.”
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Why you should consider this English Department:“Our department has made that important decision to help students determine what’s the best path for them, that we don’t simply train replacements for ourselves. Where you know, if you’re an English major, ‘What do you do? Well, you go teach English.’ Again, for some people, that’s going to be what they choose to do but it’s not the default, and it’s not what we’re only interested in you becoming. So for people who are choosing English here, you’re choosing a faculty that care about you after you leave, not just while you’re here. We feel responsible for getting you ready for what happens afterwards, not just what happens here, which is why we’ve started things like the internship, and recommending people getting internships, work experience; we feel we have a moral obligation to you as your faculty members and as your career facilitators to kind of get you ready. But we haven’t lost any enthusiasm for literature, and we’re just as happy to sit down and talk about as good a book as passionately, and as in an escapist way as anybody else, so we haven’t sacrificed that, but at the end of the day people are going to have loans, and we’ve made the decision to purposefully accept that responsibility.”
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I have published: “An article in a journal in Japan about W.B. Yeats; I was doing for a while book reviews for a magazine called  “The World and I,” those were mostly novels. More recently I’ve done reviews for a journal on reception studies (I think it’s called Reception) and those are usually articles on secondary sources. I’ve been working on a book for a long time, on re-reading, and I’ve been doing conference papers on that. My primary research interest is on hindsight bias, which means that if you are aware of the outcome, then the next time that you consider that event, the outcome will have seem more inevitable. Specifically, it’s the perception of probability, skewed. Imagine when you re-read a book, or you re-read a play, and the theme of the play is fate, or the theme of the play is causality, how does our over-familiarity with the plot skew our perception? There’s also a related phenomenon called the Reiteration Effect, which means that the more often that you encounter some information, the more inevitable it seems. Like in in ’92 election where they kept talking about the ‘economy, stupid,’ they just kept repeating it, and the more often you hear it the more it seems true, whether it’s true or not. And so the more often you read Shakespeare, the combination of the hindsight bias, also called the ‘Knew-It-All-Along Effect,’ and Reiteration, it just has a palpable skew to your interpretation of things. That’s what I research…Generally I do psychological approaches to reception studies.”
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If I could teach any class, it would be on:“I mean, now that they’ve let me teach Zombies? Honestly for me, that would have been the one…Probably Sumo Wrestling. Not a practicum; it wouldn’t be a P.E. class [laughs] it would be the history of Sumo. I have no regrets now that I can teach Zombies.”
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To contact Dr. Hogue with questions regarding the English Department, email her at joe.sullivan@marietta.edu
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