Comparative Literature
Department Chair:
Jed Deppman

Administrative Assistant:
Rochelle Travis

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-6499

Peters Hall 205
50 North Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074

John Hobbs

John Hobbs

Associate Professor Emeritus of English

Educational Background

  • B.A., Carleton College, 1962
  • M.A., Yale University, 1963
  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1967

I teach and write mainly on 20th century Irish literature-fiction, poetry, and drama. Some 20 years ago I first visited Ireland and fell in love with the country, its landscape, history, and people. Since then I've taken Oberlin students to Dublin for five semester-abroad programs. I return there every summer for research and to keep in touch with the rapidly changing culture. I'm currently writing a book on Joyce, but I'm equally interested in Yeats, Beckett, and contemporary writers like Seamus Heaney. Although my classes are text-focused, I work to evoke the colorful and tragic context that these writers both created and rejected.

In recent years I've also taught interdisciplinary seminars on metaphor and dialogue. Those more theoretical interests led me to join an ongoing faculty seminar on semiotics and creativity led by a well-known Danish cognitive scientist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

My publications have included various articles on Joyce, Heaney, Montague, romantic nature poets, and contemporary American poets. Together with a friend in Budapest I edited a collection of essays by the Hungarian poet Agnes Nemes Nagy.