Peter B. Olson teaches as a Lecturer in the Department of English at Mississippi State University. His teaching assignments include English Composition 1 & 2 (EN 1103/1113), Writing for the Workplace (EN 3313), Introduction to Literature (EN 2203), and American Literature 1 & 2 (EN 2243/2253).
Olson specializes in American studies, the philosophy of literature, rhetoric and composition, literary theory, and musicology. His dissertation is titled American Romanticism and the Politics of Negative Originality: The Dark Passages of Emerson, Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. He was also awarded the Scharff Graduate Award in English at the University of Memphis. (2009). During the spring of 2011 Olson completed CTL 101, the Center for Teaching and Learning's course in distance-learning best practices. He subsequently developed Writing On The Web (4990/6990) as a pilot course, offered through AOCE. Olson has also studied musicology and Southern regional music at the University of Memphis (ABD 2003) after serving as a research assistant to folklorist Charles K. Wolfe at Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of English (2001). Olson received a diploma (1981) from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he was awarded the Faculty Award for Outstanding Performance. Olson has participated in the American Studies Forum series at the University of Memphis. He has also taught at the University of North Alabama, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, and at the MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis, where he was Coordinator of the Jazz and Popular Music Program, served on the Faculty/Staff Committee, and taught in the Downtown School and Preparatory programs.
Ph.D in Literary and Cultural Studies (2013)—University of Memphis.
Graduate Certificate in African-American Studies (2007)—University of Memphis
M.A. in English literature (2006)—University of Memphis.
M.A. in music theory (1992)—University of Minnesota.
B.M. in bass performance (1987)—University of Minnesota.
- Writing for the Workplace
- Writing for the Web (spring 2012 pilot online course)
Publications and Presentations
Olson, Peter. "Edward Albee's Great Society: The Post-War Program to Demystify the American Dream," The University of North Alabama English Department 3rd Annual Regional Graduate Student Conference, The American Dream (2011).
He has published in the Journal of the Society for American Music, the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Crossroads: A Journal of Southern Culture, and the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
His paper "Prairie Home Companion in Nashville: Valentine’s Day 2003" was presented at the National Communication Association conference (Boston 2004).
He is a member of the Midwest Modern Language Association and the Society for Technical Communication, Huntsville (Rocket City) chapter. In the summer of 2013 Olson is attending the Lewis & Clark College Scholarly Writing Retreat in Portland, Oregon. He also plans to attend the M/MLA conference in Milwaukee, WI in November of 2013.