Dr. Dean Thompson, Jr.

Dr. Dean Thompson | Department of English | Presbyterian College | Clinton SC

Dean Thompson , Ph.D.

Mary Henry Edmunds and deSaussure Davis Edmunds Professor of English

Department of English

Email Dr. Thompson

(864) 833-8445


Dr. Thompson – Curriculum Vitae »

Education Background

Ph.D., English, Vanderbilt University
M.A., English, University of South Carolina
B.A., English, Wofford College

Courses Taught
  • American Renaissance
  • Appalachian Literature
  • Film Noir
  • Survey of American Literature I,
  • Silent Film
  • Southern Literature
Research Fields/ Areas of Specialty/Teaching
  • Appalachian Literature
  • Early American Literature
  • Film Noir
  • Silent Film
Student Research
  • Masculinity and Honor in Southern Literature and Film
Honors/Recognitions/Awards
  • CASE South Carolina Professor of the Year
  • Governor’s Distinguished Professor Award
  • Mary Henry Edmunds & de Saussure Davis Edmunds Chair of English
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Wofford College chapter
  • Presbyterian College Distinguished Service Award
  • Presbyterian College Honorary Alumnus Award
  • Presbyterian College Professor of the Year
  • Senior Class Professor, Presbyterian College

About Dr. Thompson

Joined PC in 1988

I chose education after reading Pat Conroy’s The Water is Wide during my sophomore year at Wofford College; and while our Admissions Office may kill me for saying this, I came to PC in 1988 because I went to Wofford.  But it’s true: the idea of a small, church-related, liberal-arts college kept me going through long years of graduate school.  Shortly after finishing my doctoral work at Vanderbilt University, I visited Clinton, fell under the spell of the PC campus and family, and have been teaching on the front steps of Neville Hall ever since.

Don’t ask which course is my favorite.  I love covering Southern Literature, as well as championing the Southern Studies minor.  But American Literature I, spanning the grand tradition of American ideals and identity from 1607 until 1865, is a joy as well. Teaching Literary Oxford under the shade trees of Corpus Christi College during the PC-at-Oxford Programme, followed by a walk along the Thames behind Christ Church meadow, has been the stuff of dreams.  Silent Film, however, just might be my baby.  The critic Pauline Kael once said that there is nothing like that moment when the lights go down and all our hopes are focused on the silver screen lighting up before us.  That’s so true of silent film, which can provide the most pure cinematic experience we’ll ever know.  Don’t believe me?  Take the course and find out.

On a personal note, I love music (early country, bluegrass, swing, big band, chamber, and opera) and all things baseball.  If reincarnation’s a fact, I’d like to be a shortstop for the Braves next time around.

Hobbies: drive a 1948 Packard, play cello, and collect classic radios from the 1920’s and 1930’s, and love all things baseball. I established the Field of Dreams Baseball Scholarship at Presbyterian College in 2004.

Through the years I have co-led six Maymester trips through the United Kingdom and have co-led several tours of cultural landmarks throughout the American South.