Mark Robison

Mark Robison

Professor of English, Chair of Humanities

Division of Humanities
402.486.2600 x2523
Dick Building 409-D

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Full Title: Professor of English, Chair of Humanities

Job Description:


I teach writing, literature, and speech. I also teach Union Scholars courses: Western Culture I, Willa Cather and the Arts, and Critiquing Film. Every other summer I teach a travel literature course in Central America.

Academic Background

  • Walla Walla College, 1977-B.A. in Journalism
  • St. John’s College, Santa Fe, 1993-M.A. in Liberal Arts
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008-Ph.D. in English

Campus & Community Involvement:


As division chair, I sign documents–this makes many people happy and occasionally makes someone sad.   I co-lead Something Else Sabbath School class at College View SDA church.

Professional Background:


I began my teaching career as an instructor of English and history at El Dorado Junior Academy in Placerville, CA in 1977. In 1984 I joined the faculty of Columbia Adventist Academy in Battle Ground, WA and taught English there for twelve years. In 1996 I moved to Lincoln to teach in the Division of Humanities here at Union College.


“Revisiting the Real Alexander’s Bridge.”  Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial Newletter and Review.  47 (Fall, 2003): 27-28.

“Recreation in World War I and the Practice of Play in One of Ours.”  Cather Studies 6: History, Memory, and War. Ed. Steven Trout.  Lincoln: U of Nebreaska P, 2006.  160-183.

“Transcending the Urban-Rural Divide: Willa Cather’s Thea Kronborg Goes to Chicago” Regionalism and the Humanities.  Ed. Timothy R. Mahoney and Wendy J. Katz.  Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2008.  190-210.

“Book Review of Willa Cather’s Youth and the Bright Medusa.” Great Plains Quarterly. 30 (Summer 2010): 238.



“The Comic Impulse of A Lost Lady: Reading Marian Forrester as Picara” at The International Cather Seminar 2005 “Violence, the Arts, and Cather” June 18-25, 2005.

“At Play in Chicago: Cather and Social Reform” at The International Cather Seminar in Chicago, IL “Cather, Chicago, and Modernism” June 25-28, 2009.

“Letting Go of ‘The Old Beauty’: Cather’s Vexed Relationship to the Nineteenth Century” at The International Cather Seminar in Northampton, MA “Willa Cather and the Nineteenth Century” June 20-25, 2011.

“Friend or Faux: Cather Encounters Fremstad in Lincoln” at The International Cather Seminar in Flagstaff, AZ “Willa Cather: Canyon, Rock, & Mesa Country” June 16-22, 2013.

“Editor and Author at The Home Monthly: Cather Boosts Her Writing Career.”  Conference paper at the 16th International Willa Cather Seminar, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. June 16, 2017.

Research Interests:


My dissertation explores how Willa Cather’s writing and personal practice intersect with the Recreation Movement of the late nineteeth and early twentieth centuries.  Recreational rest and play helped Cather to sustain her creativity throughout her lifetime.

Speaker’s Bureau:


The life and fiction of Willa Cather.

Personal Information:


My wife Linda and I enjoy travel, reading, film, and backpacking. This summer we enjoyed two weeks of camping and backpacking in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. We have two charming cats–Bob and Lysander.



My daughter Jessica, a 2005 alumna of Union, teaches English and helps run a theatre company in Nagoya, Japan.  My son Eric, a 2007 Union alumni, is a musician living in Portland, OR.



Linda teaches classroom music K-5 for Lincoln Public Schools. She also teaches the Methods of Music Education course for Union College. She recently presented for a session on assessment in the vocal music classroom at the national Music Educators Conference in Minneapolis.

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