Rebecca Umland

Martin Distinguished Professor

Office: THMH 205D   |    Phone: (308) 865-8697   |    Email:

Rebecca Umland



Ph.D. English, University of Iowa

Professional Organizations

Mythopoeic Society
Popular Culture Association
The International Arthurian Society
The Tristan Society

Selected Courses

English 467/869 Romantic Literature

"We have been, and still are, in a phase where our poets are Romantic even as once poets were Christian, that is, whether they want to be or not." (Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling)

English 468/880 Victorian Literature 

English 832 Colloquium in World Literature: The Quester Hero 

English 872 English Literature to 1500 

English 330 European Literature In Translation: Saints and Sinners 

English 337 Popular Literature: Arthurian Legends, Then and Now

"That night came Arthur home, and while he climb'd,
All in a death-dumb autumn-dripping gloom,
The great Queen's bower was dark,--about his feet
A voice clung sobbing till he question'd it,
"What art thou?" and the voice about his feet
Sent up an answer, sobbing, "I am thy fool,
And I shall never make thee smile again." (Tennyson, The Last Tournament)

English 252 Western Civilization: Love in the Western World

"Happy love has no history. Romance only comes into existence where love is fatal, frowned upon and doomed by life itself. What stirs lyrical poets to their finest flights is neither the delight of the senses nor the fruitful contentment of the settled couple; not the satisfaction of love, but its passion. And passion means suffering." (Denis De Rougemont, Love in the Western World)


  • Outlaw Heroes as Liminal Figures in Film and Television. McFarland, 2016. 
  • "Lillie Langtry: From Professional Beauty to International Icon," in Essays on the Female Artist in the Early Twentieth Century, Ed. Paul Fryer, McFarland, 2012.
  • Donald Cammell: A Life on the Wild Side. Co-Author, with Sam Umland, 2006.
  • The Use of Arthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: From Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings. Co-Author, with Samuel J. Umland, Greenwood Press, 1996.
  • "Burn, Witch, Burn: A First Look at the Scandinavian Horror Film," in Horror International. Co-Author, with Samuel J. Umland, 2005.
  • "The Straight Story on The Straight Story," Wrapped In Plastic 62 (January 2003): 8-16.
  • "Unrequited Love in We Can Build You," in Philip K. Dick: Contemporary Critical Interpretations, Greenwood Press, 1995.
  • "The Snake in the Woodpile: Tennyson's Vivien as Victorian Prostitute" in Culture and the King: the Social Implications of the Arthurian Legend, 1994.


  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Mortar Board Society
  • Pratt-Heins Distinguished Research Award
  • Honorary Member for Teaching Excellence, Phi Eta Sigma

Conference Presentations

Conference Presentations
  • "The Liminal Space of the Road and the Transformative Quest," Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery (SISSI) Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, March 2012.
  • "'That's not all, Folks': The Reinvention of Arthurian Legend," Panel Presentation: Arthur's Afterlife and the Dialectics of Adaptation, PCA/ACA Conference, St. Louis, MO, April 2010.
  • "Runescape, or Athena Meets the Lady of the Lake: Arthurian Legend in the Electronic Age," PCA/ACA Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 2009.