Monty Ernst teaches Introduction to College Writing, Introduction to Literature, The Short Story, Drama, American Literature (1865-1945), American Literature (1945-Present), and courses in the Honors Program. A native of Racine, he received his B.A. from UW-Parkside then completed his M.A. at Marquette University; his Master’s Thesis examined how Whitman and Dickinson employed Edenic imagery to critique marketplace-driven visions of male and female sexual identity. He earned his Ph.D. at The University of Toledo, with an concentration in American Literature (1837-1947) and a minor in Labor History. Monty’s dissertation explored examples of forced closure and utopian endings in Naturalist novels such as Germinal, The Octopus, The Jungle, and Native Son to suggest that such a genre is formally and ideologically unable to construct an oppositional alternative to the logic and rhetoric of a developing and increasingly dominant market capitalism. He also showed how Theodore Dreiser’s major novels evade such pitfalls by highlighting the limitations of formal constructs themselves. He has published on Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Ken Kesey, and Tim O’Brien.
Before coming to UW-Eau Claire to 2002, Monty taught at Marquette University, The University of Toledo, Utah State University, Fairfield University, and St. Norbert College. From 2003 until 2008, he served as the Research Coordinator for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program on campus. He has also been certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory (MBTI) and serves as the campus expert on classic horror films and on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.