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Faculty Profile - Richard Gibson

Richard Gibson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

On Faculty since 2009
630.752.5789
Blanchard 308


In a book full of good words, Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night, these are some of Dr. Gibson's favorites: “My books hold between their covers every story I've ever known and still remember, or have now forgotten, or may one day read; they fill the space around me with ancient and new voices. ” Like Manguel, Dr. Gibson is a philabibliothecan, a lover of libraries, both public and personal. And he takes his role in forming those of his students as seriously as his own. In Dr. Gibson's teaching, he endeavors to foster intimacy with texts, to create opportunities for students to have experiences of the kind that Manguel so lovingly (and so superlatively) describes.

As a practitioner of what is now being called “comparative textual media,” which embraces both book history and New Media, Dr. Gibson also urges his students to be sensitive to the ways in which their reading histories may take on new dimensions that words like Manguel’s above don’t map. Books read on mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers (if not media walls, watches, eyewear, etc.) don’t fill our material space in quite the same way as codices (especially the shelves and shelves of them that Manguel has in mind). Dr. Gibson's teaching and research are thus equally attentive to the rich tales and verses that writers pass to readers and to the means—whether spoken, hand-written, printed, or digital—by which audiences have received them in the past and access them now.

University of Virginia
Ph.D., English Literature, 2009

University of Virginia
M.A., English Literature, 2006

Princeton University
B.A., English Literature, 2002

  • English Literature
  • New Media
  • Book History
  • Comparative Textual Media

The Bible, Narrative, and Modernity
Symposium on Religion and Literature, Workshop Leader and Panelist, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, 2015

The Task of the Translator
(Conference Co-Organizer) The Conference on Christianity and Literature Midwest Regional Meeting, Wheaton College, Illinois, 2014

The Past and Future of the Book
Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, 2013

Religion and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century
(Conference Co-Organizer) The Conference on Christianity and Literature Midwest Regional Meeting, Wheaton College, Illinois, 2012

Not at Face Value: A Reading of the ‘Epilogue’ to Dramatis Personae
Robert Browning and Victorian Poetry at 200, Armstrong Browning Library, Waco, Texas, 2012

The Narrativity of Forgiveness in the Victorian Period
Conference on Religion and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century, Wheaton College, Illinois, 2012

Wordsworth and Liturgy
Nineteenth Century Studies Conference, Asheville, North Carolina, 2012

Teaching Focuses

  • Upper-Division:
    • Electronic or "Born Digital" Literature & Culture
    • Comparative Textual Media
    • Nineteenth- & Twentieth-Century British Literature
  • General Education:
    • Modern Global Literature
    • Classical & Early English Literature

Professional Development

“Electronic Literature in the Digital Humanities: Research and Practice,” Digital Humanities Summer Institute, University of Victoria, 2014, Instructors: Dene Grigar (Washington State University), Sandy Baldwin (West Virginia University), M.D. Coverly, and Davin Heckman (Winona State University)

“The Printed Book in the West since 1800,” Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2014 Instructor: Eric Holzenberg (Grolier Club)

“Versions of The Winter’s Tale,” Summer Institutes in Literary Studies, National Humanities Center, 2013 Seminar leader: Sarah Beckwith (Duke University)

“Political Theology,” Faculty Faith and Learning Seminar, Wheaton College, 2012-2013, Seminar leader: Bryan McGraw (Wheaton College)

Nineteenth-Century Spiritual Autobiography: Carlyle, Mill, Newman., A History of English Autobiography
Richard Gibson, Timothy Larsen, 2015

Browning’s ‘A Forgiveness’: A Grammatical Reading, Literature Compass
Richard Gibson, 2014

Evangelicalism, Victorian Literature: Oxford Bibliographies Online
Richard Gibson, Timothy Larsen, 2012