A Chicago-area native transplanted to the San Francisco area in 1970, Peter Schock attended California State University at Humboldt, where he decided early on that he wanted to teach literature for a living, a decision he credits entirely to the influence of his two principal teachers there, Richard Day and Russ McGaughey. After earning a B.A. in English at Cal State, Schock began graduate study at the University of Iowa, focusing on English Romanticism, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, and the history of criticism and literary theory. His mentor and thesis director at Iowa was John E. Grant, an expert on William Blake.
Schock came to UNO upon completing the Ph.D. in 1989, and he has enjoyed working with our students ever since. Teaching Romanticism has always appealed to him because of its presentation of various forms of Idealism, its lyricism, and the rich social and political texture of its myth-making. He served as our department’s graduate coordinator from 1997 to 2004, when he was appointed department chair. It is the hardest job he’s ever held, but he does find it exhilarating and satisfying. Schock’s research and writing center on the historical contexts of English Romanticism
Romantic Satanism: Myth and the Historical Moment in Blake, Byron, and Shelley(Palgrave, 2003) studies the treatment of Christian demonology by three writers at odds with religious and political orthodoxy. A book on Coleridge and the Unitarian tradition and a nonfiction treatment of his father’s experience as a U.S. Navy Submarine Service officer in World War II are the two projects he will pursue next.
Schock is the founding president of the New Orleans Scotch Club, an organization devoted to the advancement of single-malt and select blended Scotch whiskies.