Phillip E. Wegner joined the Department of English at the University of Florida in 1994. He received his BA from California State University, Northridge, where he was named the recipient of the Wolfson Scholar Award for 1986; and his PhD from the Literature Program at Duke University in 1993, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. He was the Coordinator of the Graduate Program from 2009 to 2012 and the Associate Graduate Coordinator from 2005-2009, and he founded the Working Group for the Study of Critical Theory at UF in 2015. He was named a University Research Foundation (UFRF) Professor in 2010 and the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar in English in 2012. He was the president for The Society for Utopian Studies from 2010-2014, and received the Society’s Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship in 2017.
Wegner is the author of five books, Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (California, 2002); Life Between Two Deaths, 1989-2001: U.S. Culture in the Long Nineties (Duke, 2009); Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative (Northwestern, 2014); Shockwaves of Possibility: Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia (Peter Lang, 2014); and most recently, Invoking Hope: Theory and Utopia in Dark Times (Minnesota, 2020). He has begun work on two new books, A Return to the Scene of the Postmodern; or, Why 1984 Wasn’t Like 1984, and a study of the contemporary historical novel. He has published more than 60 essays on topics including contemporary literature and film, twentieth-century culture, genre theory, utopian fiction, literary theory, cultural studies, Marxism, spatial theory, globalization, and science fiction. He has presented major lectures at universities across the United States, as well as in Ireland, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, Greece, and South Korea. He is a multiple recipient of UF Teaching Awards, and teaches a wide range of courses, including most recently, undergraduate courses on contemporary world fiction, literary theory, and modernist British literature; a pilot course for UF’s new general education humanities curriculum; and graduate seminars on dialectical theory, structuralism and post-structuralism, the historical novel, and the Künstlerroman.