|Director of the Honors Program
Dr. Paul Wiebe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in mathematics, at Texas Christian University, and later attended Emory University, where he received his Ph.D. in English. While writing his dissertation, Dr. Wiebe served as an adjunct professor at Oglethorpe University and Georgia State University before joining the Department of English at Morehouse College in 1986. At Morehouse, he has taught a variety of courses, ranging from composition to Literary Form, Survey of English Literature I and II, Milton, Argumentation and Debate, and Senior Seminar.
Upon arriving at Morehouse, Dr. Wiebe was also asked to serve as director of the Morehouse Forensics Team, a position he held for twelve years. During his tenure as Director of Forensics, the Morehouse debate team competed extensively in the southeast region of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and regularly attended CEDA’s national tournament. Dr. Wiebe was an active participant in the CEDA organization, serving as a member of the executive council of the southeast region of CEDA and as a member of the national executive council of CEDA. He hosted seven CEDA debate tournaments at the Morehouse campus, as well as a CEDA regional debate workshop. In 1994 the debate team was honored with the selection of one of its members, Mr. Ken Newby (now the current debate coach at Morehouse), to the CEDA All-American Debate Squad.
Dr. Wiebe stepped down from the position of Director of Forensics in 1998 and assumed the duties of a regular faculty member until 2005, when he was asked to take the position of interim chair of the Department of English. After this initial appointment, he served an additional three years as chair of the Department. During this period, the Journalism and Sports Program was established under the auspices of the Department of English and offered English majors the opportunity to earn a concentration in journalism. In fall 2011, Dr. Wiebe was asked to serve as Director of the Morehouse Honors Program, the position that he currently holds.
Over the years, Dr. Wiebe has been active on a number of committees at Morehouse College. He has served as a faculty representative to the Morehouse Board of Trustees, and he has served on other college-wide committees and task forces, such as the Institutional Values Project, the Leadership Studies Working Committee, the Faculty Council, the Core Curriculum Task Force, the Core Advisory Council, the Grievance Committee, the Dean Search Committee, the Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee, and the Director of Journalism and Sports Search Committee. In the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, he has served as a member of the Cultural Affairs Committee and the Division Curriculum Committee. In the Department of English, he has co-chaired the Departmental Self-Study Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Assessment Committee, and he has served as a member of the Departmental Honors Committee.
Dr. Wiebe’s area of specialization is British Romantic literature. In his book Myth as Genre in British Romantic Poetry (1999), he reexamines the claim, advanced by critics such as Rene Wellek and M. H. Abrams, that the Romantics can be broadly categorized as mythmakers. Using the methods of genre analysis, he argues that though the Romantics on occasion came close to producing works that could be called mythic, they rarely embraced the generic elements that are associated works that are traditionally labeled myths. In a number of presentations, he has extended this use of genre analysis to examine the various modes of pastoral poetry, topographical poetry, and georgic poetry as they manifested themselves in domestic and colonial literature during the eighteenth century and Romantic periods. His research interests also include the interrelationships between law and literature, (in novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, for example), and he is currently engaged in a research project that examines the connection between literature and the formation of national identity. As a case study for this analysis, he is using the literature of Belize, which recently achieved its independence in 1981.
Dr. Wiebe is married to Alison Griswold Wiebe; they enjoy tennis, kayaking, cooking, and traveling.