Robert Luscher


Office: THMH 110   |    Phone: (308) 865-8115   |    Email:

Robert Luscher


Dr. Luscher is a Southern California native, born in San Diego, who migrated to the South for graduate school and remained there in his early career before being hired at UNK in 1995, as Chair of the department and a specialist in American literature. His areas of expertise include Realist, Modernist, and Contemporary American Literature, as well as the short story and the short story sequence/ cycle. The author of John Updike: A Study of the Short Fiction, he has published a number of essays on Updike’s stories and is a member of the Board of Directors of the John Updike Society, as well as an editorial Board member of the John Updike Review. He has published essays the short fiction by Ernest Gaines, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Clark Blaise, Robert Olen Butler, and other American writes. He has served as Faculty Coordinator of the Thompson Scholars Learning Community since the program’s inception in 2008, and received the Pratt-Heins Faculty Award for Service in 2015.


  • Ph.D., English. Duke University.
  • M.A., English. Duke University.
  • B.A., Literature. University of California, San Diego. 

Select Publications

  • “A Man of Ideas”: Story Autonomy and Synergy in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio.” Unbraiding the Short Story. Maurice Lee and Aaron Penn, eds. 2015.
  • “Motions of Meaning: John Updike’s ‘Gesturing.’” John Updike Review 3.2 (2015): 113-21.
  • “Down the Road from Winesburg: The Spatiotemporal Aesthetics of the Short Story  Sequence in Donald Ray Pollock’s Knockemstiff and Laura Hendrie’s Stygo. Short Fiction in Theory and Practice 3.2 (2013): 193-210. 
  • “The American Short Story Cycle: Out from the Novel’s Shadow.” Blackwell Companion to The American Novel. Alfred Bendixen, ed. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 357-72.
  • “(Re)closure in the Short Story Sequence: Vietnam Revisited in Robert Olen Butler’s A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.” Short Story 17.1 (2009): 48-64.
  • ‘In Search of Lost Time’: Clark Blaise’s Pittsburgh Stories as a Short Story Sequence.” Short Story 15.2 (2007): 65-88
  • Teaching Updike’s ‘A & P’: Shopping for Significance.” Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 4.2 (2004): 37-52.
  • “John Updike.” American Short Story Writers since WWII. Ed. Patrick Meanor and Gwen Crane. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Second Series. Vol. 218. Gale, 2000: 311-335.
  • Updike's Olinger Stories: New Light among the Shadows."  Journal of the Short Story in English 11 (1988): 99‑117. Revised and reprinted in Modern American Short Story Sequences: Composite Fictions and Fictive Communities.  Ed. J. Gerald Kennedy. Cambridge UP, 1995. 151-69.
  • John Updike: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne, 1993.
  • "The Pulse of Bloodline." Critical Reflections on the Fiction of Ernest J. Gaines. Ed. David G. Estes. U of Georgia P, 1994. 62-88.
  • "The Visionary in Ernest Gaines's Bloodline." Journal of the Short Story in English 18 (1992): 71-80.
  • "Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The `Intimate Connection' of Mary Wilkins Freeman's Six Trees." American Transcendental Quarterly 3 (1989): 363-381.
  • "The Short Story Sequence: An Open Book," in Short Story Theory at a Crossroads. Susan Lohafer and Jo Ellyn Clarey, eds. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1989. 148-67.

Recent Courses

  • English 251: Introduction to Literature: American Literature
  • English 447/ 855P: Contemporary American Literature: The Short Story Sequence
  • English 234: Reading & Writing about Literature
  • English 352B: Survey of US Literature II