Professor Hovis joined the English Department in 2006 after teaching several years at Murray State University in Kentucky. He earned his Ph.D. in English (2001) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, he is teaching courses in creative writing and American literature. His short stories have appeared in various literary journals, and his scholarly treatment of American writers includes articles on Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, Randall Kenan, and Fred Chappell and interviews with Tom Wolfe and Lee Smith. Professor Hovis's book, Vale of Humility: Plain Folk in Contemporary North Carolina Fiction (University of South Carolina Press, 2007), explores the persistence of the yeoman farmer as cultural icon in contemporary fiction from a region of the upper American South. He is currently at work on a novel that chronicles cultural transitions in the Sunbelt South.