Dr. Jonathan Thorndike
I am a Professor in the Honors Program and teach interdisciplinary "Great Books" courses in our Humanities sequence including Classical Civilizations, The Age of Exploration (16th-17th centuries), Discovery and Revolution (18th-19th centuries), and Topics in the 20th and 21st Centuries. These courses combine history, literature, philosophy, art, and architecture. I also teach First Year Seminar, Japanese literature, British literature, and C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings. My academic areas are Humanities, Asian Studies, and Comparative Cultural Studies. My two main areas of research interest are post-Meiji Japan and Victorian/ Early Twentieth-century Great Britain.
I have been a professor at Belmont University for 15 years and before that was a Humanities and English professor in Michigan at Alma College, in Montana at Rocky Mountain College, and in Wisconsin at Lakeland College. I served as a Visiting Professor at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan for one term. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Alma College and received my M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. As an undergrad, I left college after my second year and did mission work for a school for Native Americans in Sitka, Alaska. My doctoral research was on 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift and Anglo-Irish politics, and I went to Ireland to read Swift manuscripts at Trinity College in Dublin. I was awarded NEH seminars at the University of Arizona on "Homer and Traditional Oral Literature," at The East-West Center at the University of Hawaii on "Continuities and Crises: Chinese Culture and History," and at Harvard University on "Jean-Jacques Rousseau and William Blake." I completed special seminars on Southeast Asia at the East-West Center and on Japanese Culture at Tokai University in Honolulu. I have published one book on James Joyce, two books on American history (Enslow Publishers), and over 50 essays on Japanese and British literature and history (Salem Press, ABC-CLIO, Thomson Gale).
A big supporter of International Education, I serve as Belmont's campus representative for the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad. I teach a course on the British Christian fantasy writers C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Inklings during summers (next time 2014) at King's College-London through the CCSA. I am Assistant Director of the CCSA London Summer program for 2012. I founded the Belmont in Japan program and will take students to Tokyo and Kyoto in May of 2013. I will do a special research presentation at MTSU's Honors College on Kyoto history and architecture on October 22, 2012.
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