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Paul D. Williams

Lecturer in English
He/Him/His
Taylor Hall 208C

Education

Ph.D., Idaho State University, English and the Teaching of English, 2024
M.A., Idaho State University, English, 2018
B.A., Brigham Young University – Idaho, History and English Education, 2012

Biography

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. but have spent the majority of my adulthood in the Mountain West, drawn by natural beauty, wonderful people, and the promise of selective solitude when I need a break. I decided I wanted to be a teacher at age 15 and have dedicated my life to becoming the sort of teacher who connects with students on a personal level and helps each student find the answers and truths that help them chart their life’s course. Western Colorado University is a place where I can meet each of these core needs. As a scholar I like to explore literary genres, mainly alternate history, fantasy, and science fiction. Each of these narrative modes asks readers to tap into their imagination and envision the world differently. Moreover, they engage with the stories we tell ourselves and help us build self-awareness. And also, they’re incredibly fun! I have published articles on Robert Holdtsock’s Mythago Cycle and Orson Scott Card’s Tales of Alvin Maker series. In 2023 I was honored when SFRA Review requested an essay I had presented at the 44th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Currently I’m at work on a book entry for Fantasy—A Companion, and have begun looking at ways to examine fantasy and alternate history fiction through the lens of peace studies. I also fancy myself a bit of a pop intellectual, having made appearances on podcasts and YouTube channels to discuss books and movies and how they create meaning for their audiences. In my free time I read (for pleasure, not grading!), watch the latest show on Netflix (favorites include Arcane, the first seven seasons of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Cobra Kai, and Bridgerton), and play Dungeons and Dragons. Feel free to ask about my sorcerer character named Saint!

Courses Taught

  • ENG 100 Supplemental Academic Writing
  • ENG 102 Writing & Rhetoric I
  • ENG 103 Writing & Rhetoric II

Publications

  • “The Alchemy of History: Balancing Alteration and Retention in A Master of Djinn.” SFRA Review. Special Issue: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, vol. 53, no. 3, August 2023.
  • “Re-visioning an American Angel: Mythopoeisis in The Tales of Alvin Maker.” SFRA Review Vol. 51.3, Summer 2021 pp. 141-47.
  • “Stepping Into Story: Narrative Grammar in Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Cycle.” Gramarye Vol. 14, 2018, pp. 20-31.
  • “Applegate, K.A.” Co-authored with Catharine Kane and Kelly Kane, in Aliens in Popular Culture: A Guide to Visitors From Outer Space, ed. by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn. Greenwood, 2019, pp. 44-46.

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