Matthew Shipe

Senior Lecturer in English
Director of Advanced Writing
PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
MA, Washington University in St. Louis
BA, Rhodes College
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1122
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Matthew Shipe’s research and teaching interests include post-1945 American fiction, expository writing, American culture studies, Children’s literature, Southern literature, religious history & thought, and film and media studies.

    Shipe has published essays on John Updike, Philip Roth, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, and Barry Hannah. In 2015, he won the John Updike Review's Emerging Writers Prize for his essay "The Long Goodbye: The Role of Memory in John Updike's Short Fiction." He currently serves as President of the Philip Roth Society and is on the Executive Board of the John Updike Society. He is also on the editorial board of Philip Roth Studies.

    Recent Publications

    • “War as Haiku: The Politics of Don DeLillo’s Late Style.” Orbit: Writing Around PynchonOrbit: Writing around Pynchon, 4(2): 5.
    • “Roth at Century’s End: The Problem of Progress in The Dying Animal.” The Political Companion to Philip Roth, Ed. Lee Trepanier and Claudia Franziska Bruehwiler. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press (Forthcoming, Spring 2017).
    • The Long Goodbye:  Assessing John Updike’s Late Short Fiction.” The John Updike Review. 3.1  (Winter 2015): 59-81. Winner of the Review’s Emerging Writer’s Prize.
    • “Middle-Age Crazy: Men Behaving Badly in the Fiction of Raymond Carver and John Updike.”  Critical Insights: Raymond Carver, Ed. Jim Plath.  Pasadena: Salem Press, 2013.
    • “Twilight of the Superheroes: Philip Roth, Celebrity, and the End of Print Culture.”  Roth and Celebrity, Ed. Aimee Pozorski.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013.
    • Exit Ghost and the Politics of Late Style.” Philip Roth Studies. 5.2 (Fall 2009): 43-58.
    • “Accountability, Community, and Redemption in Hey Jack! and Boomerang.” Perspectives on Barry Hannah, Ed. Martyn Bone.  Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007: 102-119.

    Recent Courses Taught

    • L 14 258 Art of the Novel
    • L14 318 The Cultural History of the American Teenager
    • L 14 312 End of the Century: American Culture during the 1990s
    • L14 334 Golden Age of Children’s Literature
    • L13 311 Exposition
    • L 13 312 Argumentation
    Understanding Philip Roth

    Understanding Philip Roth

    A panoramic and accessible guide to one of the most celebrated—and controversial—authors of the twentieth century

    Philip Roth was one of the most prominent, controversial, and prolific American writers of his generation. By the time of his death in 2018, he had won the Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards, and three PEN/Faulkner Awards. In Understanding Philip Roth, Matthew A. Shipe provides a brief biographical sketch followed by an illuminating and accessible reading of Roth's novels, illustrating how the writer constructed one of the richest bodies of work in American letters, capturing the absurdities, contradictions, and turmoil that shaped the United States in the six decades following the Second World War.

    Questions of Jewish American identity, the irrationality of male sexual desire, the nature of the American experiment—these are a few of the central concerns that run throughout Roth's oeuvre, and across which his early and late novels speak to one another. Moreover, Shipe considers how Roth's fiction engaged with its historical moment, providing a broader context for understanding how his novels address the changes that transformed American culture during his lifetime.

    Updike & Politics: New Considerations

    Updike & Politics: New Considerations


    Presenting the first interdisciplinary consideration of his political thought, Updike and Politics: New Considerations establishes a new scholarly foundation for assessing one of the most recognized and significant American writers of the post-1945 period. This book brings together a diverse group of American and international scholars, including contributors from Japan, India, Israel, and Europe. Like Updike himself, the collection canvases a wide range of topics, including Updike’s too often overlooked poetry and his single play. Its essays deal with not only political themes such as the traditional aspects of power, rights, equality, justice, or violence but also the more divisive elements in Updike’s work like race, gender, imperialism, hegemony, and technology. Ultimately, the book reveals how Updike’s immense body of work illuminates the central political questions and problems that troubled American culture during the second half of the twentieth century as well as the opening decade of the new millennium.