Michael Levy 

What's new in your field?

I've just completed a book on children's fantasy — everything from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Harry Potter” to “Twilight.” My next book, and my first children's book, which I've just started, is a reference book for high school students on aliens in popular culture.

Why do you love teaching, especially at UW-Stout?

I love teaching in part because I'm a ham. My inner child has always been a "little professor." I also see it as the best way I can do good for the world. A flower should do its best to bloom where it was planted. I ended up at UW-Stout back in 1980 because I wanted to be close to my then-girlfriend in Minneapolis. I've been here, and mostly happy, ever since.

What’s your favorite teaching memory, moment or student?

The Navy vet who had wonderful stories to tell but just didn't get grammar until I sat down with him and explained run-on sentences and fragments one-on-one. A light came on in his eyes and he said, "Oh, now I get it." He never made another error and went on to become a professional technical writer.

What’s interesting about you that your students might not know?

I'm a terrible photographer so I collect refrigerator magnets of everywhere I travel.

If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

Ursula K. Le Guin, the science fiction writer, because she's one of the wisest people I've ever met or read.

Five Questions

About Michael

» Faculty Profile

Title: Professor, department of English and philosophy; former department chair.

Teaching focus, expertise: Children’s literature, science fiction and fantasy, writing.

Research interests: Authored “Children’s Fantasy: An Introduction,” Cambridge University Press, scheduled to be published in February 2016, his fourth book. He also has published approximately 25 scholarly articles and book chapters and has written more than 1,000 book reviews.

Background: Began teaching at UW-Stout in 1980. Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1982; Master of Arts, Ohio State University, 1974; Bachelor of Arts, University of Illinois, 1968. Before coming to UW-Stout, he worked as a graduate teaching assistant and as a teamster and was a member of the AFLCIO.

Family, hobbies: His wife, Sandra Lindow, is a successful poet and scholar who has taught in three departments at UW-Stout on an occasional basis after retiring from her 25-year career at the Eau Claire Academy. His hobbies include reading, writing, gardening and waiting for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series.

September 2015