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Dr. Kevin Gustafson

Associate Professor of English
interim Dean of the Honors College
College of Liberal Arts

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Gustafson received a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Middle English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. He also holds an M.A. (with honors) from the University of Virginia and a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Pacific Lutheran University. Dr. Gustafson began teaching at UT Arlington in the fall of 1999; before that, he taught at the College of William and Mary, Texas Christian University, and Southern Methodist University.

Service Learning Class

ENGL 3364: Gay and Lesbian Literature (3-0) Examines modern representations of same-sex desire in relation to a variety of texts--religious, philosophical, literary and scientific--from the ancient world up through the 'invention' of homosexuality in the nineteenth century.

Academic Outcomes

  • Gain a historical understanding of the development of sexuality and the role of literary texts in that development
  • Learn to read and write about gay and lesbian literature in the context of contemporary theories of sexuality and sexual identity
  • Develop, through course readings and a service learning project, an appreciation for the relation between
    narration and identity

Service Learning Project

The Metroplex Archive: Gay and Lesbian Life Stories

The Metroplex Archive is designed to be an ongoing project in which each student from this and future sections of ENGL 3364 will interview a gay or lesbian person living in the Metroplex and then, based on that interview, write a brief biographical sketch that will then become part of a digital archive. The goal of the project is two-fold. The first is to create an archive, the first of its kind in the Metroplex, that shows the diversity of the gay and lesbian community in North Texas; indeed, given the growing decentralization of the gay and lesbian population, the archive will, in very real sense, help define that community. The other main goal of the project is to help students, even as they read a number of first-person and third-person narratives in the classroom, to appreciate the real-world importance of narratives—to see, in short, the extent to which all of us, but perhaps gay men and lesbians in particular, come to understand themselves through the process of telling and re-telling their life stories.

Teams and responsibilities and Partners

Students will work individually on this project. Each will choose a subject to interview, and the resulting interview will then be the basis for either a brief biography or ghost-written autobiography. This written product will be due at the end of the semester, along with interview notes or tapes and a critical reflection on the service project and its relation to course readings and discussion.

Product/Result: (Grant/Brochure/Celebration/Student Reflection/etc.)

The major product will be the archive, which will be available to the public through the professor’s webpage.

* Essential elements of Service Learning are academic rigor, civic engagement, and personal development.