Barbara Duffey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Barbara Duffey joined the Dakota Wesleyan English staff fall 2012 and will supervise the publication of the student literary magazine, “Prairie Winds.”
Duffey received her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California. Duffey also served as a grant writer for the University of Houston’s College of Education; a writer in residence for the Writers in the Schools, Houston; and a reading instructor at the Institute of Reading Development. She has one chapbook, “The Circus of Forgetting,” in the process of publishing.
She has also had several poems published over the summer and fall of 2012 in which she uses mechanical metaphors to portray a personal connection between man and machine.
Her poems, “Archimedes Screw,” “Diesel Engine” and “Ferris Wheel to the Fun House,” were published in the current issue (summer 2012) of “Western Humanities Review” and two poems, “Cento: ‘Instinct,’ by Lester Del Rey” and “Wheel & Axle,” appear in the current issue (fall 2012) of “Sugar House Review.”
All of these poems are from Duffey’s manuscript in progress, “Simple Machines,” which uses famous machines as metaphors for the human body.
“I use the machine metaphors as a way to highlight my frustrations at my infertility diagnosis, that my body didn’t work as mechanically as I had expected,” Duffey describes. “I focus on machines named after people, such as the Diesel engine, the Archimedes screw, and the Ferris wheel, because those personal names make the machines feel almost like the children of their inventors.”
“‘Simple Machines’ takes up language as another possible ‘simple machine.’ I experiment with composition methods that might be considered ‘mechanical,’ or actually use machines, literally,” she said. “For example, I use the online Oxford English Dictionary’s reverse-search feature to create word lists from which to compose poems. I also make ‘poem machines’ in homage to the language machine in Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ — I build paper structures that can be bound in a book and later detached, assembled, and manipulated to make poems.”
Duffey grew up in Los Angeles and Albuquerque, N.M., and now lives in Mitchell with her husband and infant son.
Vince Redder, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Languages
Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities
English Department Chair
A Texan by birth, Dr. Vince Redder grew up as the eldest of seven brothers. Although his parents were extremely busy, they instilled in him and his brothers a love of reading and a curiosity about the world. This has been the foundation of Dr. Redder’s several careers and the biggest advantage he brings to his students at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Dr. Redder graduated from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in German and a liberal arts education that would benefit him for the rest of his life. He was in the seminary studying for the priesthood, and, after finishing in Dallas, he was sent by his bishop to Rome where he spent the next four years studying theology. The Gregorian University where he studied had five official languages, of which a student was expected to speak, read, and write three and read the other two. He learned quickly the importance of languages in a European education: besides the five official languages, seminarians were expected to have at least a passing knowledge of the ancient biblical languages as well.
Dr. Redder left the priesthood and went back to school to earn his teaching certification. When the chair of the education department told him he would never teach history in Texas unless he was a coach, he settled on English as a poor second choice. To his surprise, he found that he liked literature and looked forward to teaching it. The economy at the time, however, did not allow room for one more English teacher, so Dr. Redder found a position as a probation officer. He spent eight years supervising offenders and then writing pre-sentence investigations for the district court judges. He also served as a trainer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, training new officers all over the state.
Despite his blossoming criminal justice career, Dr. Redder decided to go back to school and work on his master’sdegree at Midwestern State University. When he completed his master’s degree, he and his patient family moved to South Carolina, where he worked on his Ph.D. When the time came to choose a specialty, there was only one choice—he remembered Rome and the splendor of the Renaissance that surrounded him daily as a seminarian, and decided to major in Renaissance literature.
After graduation from the University of South Carolina, Dr. Redder began his fourth career, this time as a professor. He passed up a better paying job offer so that he could teach at Dakota Wesleyan University because he felt at home both at the university and in Mitchell. He also felt he could make a positive impact on the students at DWU. The impact is important, because there is still a bit of the priest and probation officer in him. At Dakota Wesleyan, he teaches German, Italian, and the occasional Latin and Greek course, besides all of the British literature courses. He is also open to teaching Old English, but so far no one has taken him up on it.
Dr. Redder has been published in the Proceedings of the 11th and 14th Annual North Central Plains Pre-1750 British Literature Conference. His current project is a study of the poet Ben Jonson’s Catholic years. Since becoming dean of the College of Arts and Humanities in 2008, his spare time has diminished somewhat, but in what remains, Dr. Redder likes to tinker with his collection of old pocket watches and spend time with his wife and children.
The reliques and ragges of popish superstition by Dr. Redder
Assistant Professor of English
Gretchen Rich is a combination teacher; she works in most areas of communication and greatly enjoys working with words. Born and raised in a “communications” family, she learned early that words were key to understanding, and she has kept using them even when many would have asked her to hush.
Rich earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yankton College, Yankton, S.D., in 1977, and worked for two years in a small private girls’ school with Native American girls of various ages. Her work convinced her that she needed more education, so she went back to school to work on her master’s degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, obtaining it in 1983. She taught for two years at Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb., in two temporary positions and then took her third “temporary” position at Huron College, Huron, S.D., which resulted in 23 years at the college, which was later renamed Si Tanka University.
She came to work at DWU in 2005 and works part-time for the English department and also part-time for TRiO Student Support Services. Her bachelor’s degree in speech and theater helps her present all her classes, but it is especially useful in basic speech; her master’s degree in American Literature has served her well while teaching various lit classes, and it also helps her discuss and teach writing with both her own students and those who need help in the TRiO Writing Center.