Office of the Provost
Dennis Leavens received his B.S. in biology from the University of Notre Dame, his M.A. in English literature from California State University, Northridge, and his Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame. After five years at Benedictine College in Atchison Kansas, he spent the next seventeen years at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where he is Professor Emeritus of English Literature. He then accepted administrative positions at the United Arab Emirates University, where, over a period of seven years, he served as associate dean and dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Leavens has served in a range of administrative positions from department chair to dean. He has educational publications on liberal arts education, general education, and core curriculum issues, as well as international accreditation experience.
Leavens’ research interests have been primarily in British and American literature of the last two hundred years, with publications on George Eliot, Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon, Charlotte Perkins Gilman among fiction writers, and John Dryden, Wallace Stevens, William Stafford, Ciaran Carson, and Robinson Jeffers among poets.
His teaching interests include a wide range of literature and writing classes, from classical world literature to contemporary and postmodern literatures, from expository prose to poetry writing. His academic training was in poetry as a genre, with an emphasis on poetry in English from the seventeenth century to the present.