Michael McGehee

CLA 178


  • BA, University Of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • MA, University Of Delaware
  • PHD, University Of Delaware

I didn’t know I was going to study English when I first went to college. I arrived thinking I was going to major in Computer Science or Political Science, with the idea of someday going to law school. But after taking a sequence of Great Books courses, I knew I’d found what I wanted to study. Fiction, poems, essays, and other literary genres reached a place inside that had always craved and appreciated beauty, subtlety, ambiguity, and complexity. I was not able to get enough of this bounty in college, so after graduating I continued my studies, resulting in a Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware.

At North Hennepin, I teach composition courses (Engl 1201 and 1202) as well as literature courses including Survey of American Literature I and II (Engl 2450 and 2460), Modern American Literature (Engl 2270), and Introduction to Literary Studies: the American Short Story (Engl 2590). I often merge student discussion of texts with insights from literary theory and criticism to carry lessons in my literature classes. My goal is simple: to guide students closer to a place in themselves where they develop a language describing how literature stirs emotion and shapes vision.

There is discussion in my writing classes as well, where I teach composition as a process involving planning, drafting, revision, editing, and participation in a community of writers exchanging constructive feedback. Every lesson leads back to considerations of audience, purpose, and context. Anchoring the focus on these variables is my aim to guide students toward an adaptability required to compose any document that serves them in college, work, and civic life.

In my free time, I like to read books, write, and be outdoors.

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