William Hodapp Ph.D.
What is your field of expertise, and what makes you interested in this field?
Medieval languages and literatures, narrative poetry, drama/theater history, and management/technical writing. My undergraduate training in comparative art led to my advanced academic interests in medieval studies and languages. I also worked some years in public relations, which led to my interest in management/technical writing.
Can you briefly introduce the academic program (or department) you are in to our prospective students?
English studies encompass the verbal disciplines of reading and writing, speaking and listening. We read and produce texts and, on the way, explore cultural-literary-rhetorical contexts that shape the texts we read and produce. English studies offers excellent preparation in analytical and critical thinking, empathic and aesthetic ways of knowing, and verbal communication skills. It offers excellent preparation for advanced professional studies (arts, business, English, law, medicine) as well as skills applicable to any work setting requiring analysis and communication.
Medieval and Renaissance studies explores the cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean basin from approximately 500 to 1700 CE. It is a multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary field of study that includes art, economics, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, science, theater: in short, aspects of the human experience in these regions and during this time period.
In your perspective, what distinguishes St. Scholastica's English program from other colleges and universities?
Flexibility and advising: students work closely with advisors to design an English studies program that meets their interests and goals. The same is true for medieval and Renaissance studies.
What do you like best about St. Scholastica?
My faculty colleagues, especially those with whom I work closely in English and the School of Arts and Letters: we work well together developing curricula and conducting the faculty work of the College. My students: I have great fun working along side curious and creative students.
What's your most interesting teaching or research experience at St. Scholastica?
Hmmm... most interesting teaching experiences (I've had many): team-teaching with Todd White The Book in the 15th Century, where we produce manuscript and limited edition printed books; team-teaching with various faculty in the College's Irish Studies Program; many independent studies over the years; any course in theater/drama or early literature... okay, I'll stop.
Research: whatever I'm working on at the moment is my most interesting (at present I'm wrapping up two studies - one on Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde; another on cinematic medievalism).
What's your advice for prospective students?
I'll grant that making a living is very important, but making a life is even more so. College can help you do both if you engage the process. Pursue a discipline that fires your intellectual and emotional passions in some way. Intellectual curiosity is one of life's great driving forces, so tap into it: let it lead you. Don't let any class you take be a "waste of time": figure out what and how you can learn in each course. Faculty only provide opportunities for you to learn: it's up to you to actually do it. Show up for class and do your own work. Strive for balance in life: a daily task.