Matt Evans teaches courses in rhetoric and composition, and Western humanities.
I completed an undergraduate degree in Humanities at UTC in 1995, a Master's degree in English at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999, and pursued a Ph.D. in English at UT Knoxville that I never completed (finishing ABD, or "all but dissertation").
I enjoy teaching composition and literary survey classes.
In writing classes I try to get students to engage with questions about how our daily decisions (what we wear, what we eat, the type and amount of energy we use) have repercussions beyond what we are normally able to see, and how those choices affect our morality. I encourage students to work on concision and creativity in their writing. In literature classes, I try to enact an engagement with texts that leaves students with the understanding that such an engagement can help them make sense of an often confusing and even painful world.
Why did you become an English professor?
When I was a senior in high school, I visited a Shakespeare class at UTC taught by Mike Richards. There was never any question after that. And I took every class that he taught while I was at UTC.
Why teach X?
Writing: because at some point, you will have to write something in order to achieve a goal that is very important to you. I hope that when you do, you can draw upon what you learned in my class. Literature: because I believe the best definition of humans is this: creatures that tell stories.
Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I play old-time music, mostly on the fiddle and banjo. I started a folk school, where I teach music, and have performed and played for dances throughout the region. I trail run, and spend my time off in the winter chasing grouse.
What are your expectations of students?
You want an excellent grade in my class? Show me excellent work. Excellent. Think about that word.
What's something about you that might surprise your students? I live and die by Arsenal Football Club.