Chartres LabyrinthMandalaJoseph E. Becker


Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo. / A star shines on the hour of our meeting. / Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 3
Geraldine Cannon BeckerGermany

I was born in Burlington, Iowa of German and Scottish heritage; however, I spent the bulk of my youth in Rock Hill, South Carolina. I have been an enthusiastic reader from a young age and became interested in literary studies after encountering J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in my youth. My love of reading eventually led me to pursue a BA in English at Winthrop University, and it was there that I also met my future wife, Geraldine Cannon, who is from the town of Salem in western South Carolina. After earning my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English Literature at Winthrop, I taught at community colleges in North and South Carolina during the early 1990s. I also began reading works by Joseph Campbell and developed an interest in comparative mythology and comparative religion.

In mid-1990s, Geraldine and I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas where she had been accepted into the MFA program in the Creative Writing specializing at poetry at the University of Arkansas. A couple of years later, I was admitted into the Comparative Literature program and earned both a Master's and Doctorate in that field specializing in archetypal literary criticism.

In 2003, I joined the faculty of the University of Maine at Fort Kent where I teach a variety of courses in argumentation, world literature, mythology, and comparative religion. I have published numerous academic articles in various scholarly and academic publications. In addition, I am the program coordinator for English at UMFK and serve on a variety of campus committees. After serving six-years as Assistant Professor of English, I was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of English in 2009. In 2016, I was promoted to Professor of English.

Aside from studying literary works, I particularly enjoy reading books on history, religion, science, and depth psychology. I listen to a wide range of music including classical, jazz, and progressive rock. Geraldine, who is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UMFK, and I live in Fort Kent.  We have two adult daughters.