Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Professor Zachary Turpin (CAS ’03) on Uncovering Lost Literature and Tips for Picking the Right PhD Program

Zachary Turpin, professor of American Literature at the University of Idaho, and literary sleuth responsible for uncovering lost Walt Whitman writing and unknown poetry by Anne Sexton, shares what these discoveries mean for literary scholars and readers, and how to pick the right PhD program for you.
Zachary Turpin

What did you study at NYU?

I studied English and American Literature.

What interests you about studying literature?

In high school, I devoured a lot of classic literature and took AP classes that meant a lot to me and figured I would do something with English. 

What drew you to a career in academia?

An important question! Honestly, I'm not sure there's much of an answer, but what I can say is that even as an undergrad, I knew very well that I was made to be some sort of educator, yet when I tried my hand at secondary education I found myself wanting something more. In the end, I might have been a high school English teacher—and a very happy one!—but my PhD program gave me the chance to try on a number of different hats before making a final decision, and I quickly realized that my obsessions tended in one direction and one direction only...