Carter Hanson

Professor of English

College of Arts and Sciences, Room 224


Carter Hanson joined the Valparaiso English Department in 1999.  From 2005 to 2007 he served as the Resident Director of VU’s international study center in Cambridge, England, and in 2010 he directed VU’s study abroad program in Hangzhou, China.  Professor Hanson also directed VU’s study abroad program in Reutlingen, Germany, from 2015-2017.

Professor Hanson teaches courses on the English Novel and Nineteenth-Century British literature, Young Adult literature, Utopian and Dystopian literature, Canadian fiction, and Children’s literature.  He also enjoys teaching general education classes such as Core and the Christ College First-Year Program.  In addition to these literary topics, Professor Hanson occasionally teaches a course on the history of electronic dance music.  In the classroom, Professor Hanson tries to help students fully explore texts through discussion, as well as to establish the important connections between texts, history and culture.  Some of his favorite books are The Giverby Lois Lowry, Oryx and Crakeby Margaret Atwood, Great Expectationsby Charles Dickens, and Winnie-the-Poohby A. A. Milne.

Professor Hanson’s main areas of research expertise are in the fields of Utopian Studies, Nineteenth-Century English literature, Canadian literature.  He co-founded the Midwest Conference on Utopian Studies, which was held at VU in 2012 and 2015.  He has also been named the University Research Professor twice, in 2005 and 2014.

Professor Hanson’s interest in Canadian literature began when he started researching the history and literature of nineteenth-century English emigration to Canada.  He has published articles on this topic in journals like Canadian Literatureand The American Review of Canadian Studies, and his book Emigration, Nation, Vocation: The Literature of English Emigration to Canada, 1825-1900was published in 2009 by Michigan State University Press.

On Utopian/Dystopian literature he has written the articles “The Utopian Function of Memory in Lois Lowry’s The Giver,” published in Extrapolation; “Memory’s Offspring and Utopian Ambiguity in Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘The Day Before the Revolution’ and The Dispossessed,” published in Science Fiction Studies; and “Pop Goes Utopia: An Examination of Utopianism in Recent Electronic Dance Pop,” published in the journal Utopian Studies. His most recent article, “Postmodernism, and Human Remembering versus Digital Memory in M. T. Anderson’s Feed,” was published in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly.  Professor Hanson is currently completing a book on memory as a form of agency in utopian and dystopian narratives.

Along with his wife Michelle, Carter spends much of his free time parenting two daughters.  His extracurricular passions include dance/electro/pop music and nearly anything related to Star Wars.

Professor Hanson’s undergraduate degree was from Luther College, and he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Iowa.


Ph.D.– University of Iowa

M.A.–University of Iowa

B.A.–Luther College

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Carter Hanson