James Phelan (born 1951) is an American writer, literary scholar, and Distinguished University Professor Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He joined the faculty of Ohio State in 1977 after earning his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago, he studied with the Chicago School theorists Sheldon Sacks and Wayne Booth.The editor of Narrative (the journal of the International Society for the Study of Narrative), he has also written numerous books and articles on narrative theory, including Worlds from Words (1981), Reading People, Reading Plots (1989), Narrative as Rhetoric(1996), Living to Tell about It (2005), Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative (2007). Phelan has also edited or co-edited several collections including the Blackwell Companion to Narrative Theory (2005, co-edited with Peter J. Rabinowitz) and Teaching Narrative Theory (2010, co-edited with David Herman and Brian McHale). With Peter J. Rabinowitz, Phelan co-edits the Ohio State University Press book series, The Theory and Interpretation of Narrative. Born in Flushing, NY, Phelan graduated in 1972 with a BA from Boston College. At BC he played on the basketball team, earning Academic All-America honors in 1972.In 1991 he wrote a memoir called Beyond the Tenure Track: Fifteen Months in the Life of an English Professor. Along with Frederick Aldama, Brian McHale, and David Herman, he is one of the founders of Project Narrative, an initiative at Ohio State University.
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