Phone: (508) 929-8619
B.A., Miami University;
M.A., Indiana University;
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island
Philip Burns is Professor of English. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English and American Studies from Indiana University, and a B.A. in English from Miami University. He also awarded himself an honorary doctorate in 1960s’ music, through which he believes he received his most valuable education.
His teaching and his scholarly interests mirror his academic training in both literary studies and rhetoric. As a teacher, he offers a variety of courses, including literary theory and criticism, poetry and politics, modern rhetorical theory, and the theory and teaching of writing. In addition, he teaches introductory literature courses in online format. His scholarship in literature and rhetoric has appeared in The Explicator, The Midwest Quarterly, Paideuma, and Rhetoric Review, and he has published a volume of political correspondence of the poet Ezra Pound.
If there is a dominant thread in Professor Burns’s teaching and research, it has to do with the power of language. He has written about language as a way of constructing experience (in Mark Twain), language as a manifestation of delusion (in Ezra Pound), and language as a mode of action (in public deliberation and civic discourse), and his more recent concern is language as a means of constructing identity, particularly through the medium of popular song and its phenomenological implications.