Mark Walhout photo by Lynn Anselmi

IN 1987, after a Midwestern education — a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s and doctorate from Northwestern University — Mark Walhout brought his expertise in American literature and literary criticism to Seattle Pacific’s English and Cultural Studies Department.

He served as the chair of the English Department for more than 20 years and offered steady encouragement and support for students, even occasionally welcoming students into his and his wife’s Queen Anne Hill home for gatherings.

“I don’t think students know just how ambitious Mark’s hopes and dreams have been for them,” said JEFFREY OVERSTREET ’94, assistant professor of English. “I don’t think they know how pleased he is when they succeed; how excited he is when doors open for them with the keys that he gave them.”

In 2000, Walhout also helped bring Image journal to campus, a faith community’s literary and arts journal. He also laid the groundwork for SPU’s well-respected master of fine arts in creative writing program.

Walhout frequently published reviews in Books and Culture and accrued ever-broadening academic and cultural interests. He was interested in post-9/11
fiction, fictionalized biographies of Jesus, literary hoaxes and plagiarism, Christian academic freedom, and the work of postcolonial critic Edward Said. Walhout’s latest work is a dual biography of Said and Charles Malik, titled Arab Intellectuals and American Power (I.B. Tauris, 2020).

“I look forward to shifting my career slightly from teaching to full-time research and writing,” said Walhout of his retirement pursuits. One of his first projects will be a return to his dissertation exploring how American culture was influenced by the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and Shakespeare — and he’ll also be taking a long-awaited trip to Europe with his wife.

Photo by Lynn Anselmi

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