Faculty Profiles

Thomas Martin Headshot

Thomas Martin, Ph.D.

Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English

On Faculty since 2019

Doctor of Philosophy, English Literature. Purdue University. December, 1996.

Master of Arts, English Literature. Florida Atlantic University. May, 1989.

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy; Classical Languages minor. Florida State University. April, 1984.

Thomas L. Martin is Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the author of Poiesis and Possible Worlds, coauthor of The Renaissance and the Postmodern, editor of Reading the Classics with C. S. Lewis and Literary Apologetics: The Imagination’s Journey to God (coming soon). He is author of the prose poem life of Jesus Christ the Life: A Gospel Psalm. He is also author of various articles on Renaissance literature, literary theory, and literature of the fantastic.

  • International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
  • International Association for Philosophy and Literature
  • Milton Society of America
  • Modern Language Association
  • International Spenser Society

“Resurrection in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.” Presented Beatrice Batson Shakespeare Lecture at Wheaton College for 2021-2022, March 15, 2022.

“Wonder, Impossibilities, and the Future of The Winter’s Tale.” At the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in San Diego, October, 28-30, 2021

“The Tolkien Debate: Lessons for a New Generation of Christian Writers.” Midwest Christianity and Literature Conference, Wheaton, Illinois. 6/21

“‘Tell Me Where Is Meaning Bred’: Locating Meaning in a Postmodern Landscape.” Coffee Colloquium at the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture, FAU. 3/16

“The Risible and Goodness Rising in Modern Fantasy Literature.” International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts. 3/16.

“Spiritual Archaeologies and Material Myths.” Oxford Round Table. Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. 7/07.

“C. S. Lewis as Renaissance Critic.” Keynote address to Renaisance Prose Conference. Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio. 11/07.

“Philip Sidney on Speaking Pictures: Portals of the Fantastic.” Twenty-third International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 3/02.

“Rare Commentary from C. S. Lewis on Shakespeare: The Recently Discovered Othello Essay.” The Wooden O Symposium. Cedar City, Utah. 8/01.

“Modality, Sexual Aesthetics, and Renaissance Stagecraft.” Southeastern Renassaisance Conference. Richmond, Virginia. 3/01.

“C. S. Lewis and the Literary Tradition.” Wheaton College Writing and Literature Conference. 9/98.

“‘A Most Majestic Vision’: New Worlds and Old in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.” National Conference of the Renaissance Society of America. Kansas City, Missouri. 4/93.

“The Artifice of Omniscience: Significance and Simultaneity in Digby Mary Magdalene.” Twenty-Third Annual Interdisciplinary Conference at the Center for Advanced Early Studies, Ball State University. 11/92.

“Decorum of the Possible and Actual: A Reading of Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’.” Medieval-Renaissance Conference VI, University of Virginia Clinch Valley College. 10/92.

“Poststructuralism, Zeno’s Paradox of Plurality and Possible-Worlds Semantics.” The International Conference on Literary Semantics. Canterbury, England. 7/92.

Othello: A Study in Chaos.” Twenty-Second Annual Interdisciplinary CAES Conference. 10/91.

“Relevant Context, Genuine Relation: Genre, Form, and Gender in Twenty-First Century The Winter’s Tale Criticism.” The Ben Jonson Journal 27.1 (2020): 1–23.

“Believing Is Seeing: The ‘Lens’ Metaphor in Literary Theory.” Literary Imagination (2019) imz030, https://doi.org/10.1093/litimag/imz030.

“‘All for Love, and Nothing for Reward’: Psyche from Spenser to Lacan, and the Loss of Critical Values.” Ben Jonson Journal 23.2 (2016): 143-68. Winner of the Beverly Rogers Award, Essay of the Year in Renaissance Studies, 2016.

“God and Laughter: Overcoming the Darkness in Modern Fantasy Literature.” North Wind: A Journal of MacDonald Studies 34 (2016): 4 -12.

“Seven for Seven: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the Literary Tradition.” Mythlore 34:2 (2016): 47-67.

“Merlin, Magic, and the Metafantastic: The Matter of That Hideous Strength.” Arthuriana 21:1 (2011): 66-84.

“A Modest Disposal: Loving the Critical Bathwater after the Baby Has Been Discarded.” Philosophy and Literature 34 (2010): 434-446.

“Redressing Cross-dressed Shakespeare.” Academic Questions 16:3 (2003): 49-66.

“Is C. S. Lewis Relevant to Critical Studies Today?” Wooden O Journal 1 (2001): 26-35.

“Boy Actors and the Semiotics of Renaissance Stagecraft.” Renaissance Papers 2001. Rochester: Camden House. 45-56.

“Time and Eternity in Troilus and Criseyde.” Renascence 51.3 (1999): 167-79.

“Enormity and Aurea Mediocritas in Bartholmew Fayre: The Ideals of Classical Comedy.” Ben Jonson Journal 2 (1995): 143-56.

“On the Margin of God: Deconstruction and the Language of Satan in Paradise Lost.Milton Quarterly 29 (1995): 41-47.

“Milton’s Sonnet XIV.” The Explicator 52 (1994): 147-49.

“Stevens on Subject and Object: ‘Someone Puts a Pineapple Together.’” The Wallace Stevens Journal 18 (1994): 27-49.

“Poststructuralism, Zeno’s Paradox of Plurality, and Possible-Worlds Semantics.” Journal of Literary Semantics 22 (1993): 91-103.

Books Published

Literary Apologetics: The Imagination’s Journey to God. Coming soon from De Gruyter Press. 

The Renaissance and the Postmodern: A Study in Comparative Critical Values, coauthored with Duke Pesta. Routledge Press, as part of their Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture series. 2016.

Poiesis and Possible Worlds: A Study in Modality and Poetic Theory. The University of Toronto Press. 2004. Nominee for the MLA Book of the Year.

Books Edited

Reading the Classics with C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2000.

Reading for Life: 100 Christian College Teachers Reflect on the Books That Shaped Their Lives. With Jeffry Davis and Leland Ryken. Xlibris. 2001.

Creative Books

Christ the Life: A Gospel Psalm. A book-length prose poem on the life of Jesus. Paraclete Press, February 2022.

Book Chapters

“Poiesis.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Research, Oxford University Press, 2019. Also published online https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.013.1080. 2020.

“‘As Many Worlds as Original Artists’: Possible-Worlds Theory and the Literature of Fantasy.” Possible Worlds Theory and Contemporary Narratology. Edited by Alice Bell and Marie-Laure Ryan. University of Nebraska Press, Frontiers of Narrative Series, 2019.

“The Tower, the Sausage Maker, and the Soup: Teaching Tolkien in a Postmodern Classroom.” Approaches to Teaching J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Other Works. Edited by Leslie A. Donovan. Modern Language Association. 2015. 137-43. Mythopoeic Award Finalist 2017.

“C. S. Lewis: A Critical Prospective.” In Reading the Classics with C. S. Lewis. 371-92. 2000.