Bob Mielke is an English professor at Truman State University and the director of graduate studies in English whose passion for a wide variety of pursuits taught him to always live and learn in the moment.
After joining Truman faculty in 1986, he’s taught many courses that reflect his interests, including subjects from nuclear weaponry to the history of rock and roll. He taught a popular genres class — ENG 206: Horror: An Introduction to Film — and a graduate class on William Faulkner last semester. In fall 2018, he plans on teaching courses on Native American literature and Bob Dylan.
Mielke started cultivating his interdisciplinary interests as an undergraduate at Marquette University, where they had a really good undergraduate liberal, interdisciplinary program. During graduate school at Duke University for English, he channeled them into his book, “The Riddle of the Painful Earth: Suffering and Society in W.D. Howells’ Major Writings of the Early 1890s.” He also served as adviser to Duke’s undergraduate humor magazine, “Jabberwocky.”
Although Mielke is primarily a playwright, he is also interested in poetry, novels, music and nuclear weapons. Mielke said he is very much in the moment and tends to make his main hobby whatever he is currently doing. His biggest thing these days is co-directing a documentary film about a Wisconsin musician, Sigmund Snopek III.
Once that project is done, he plans to spend his next sabbatical critically studying the Grateful Dead and working on a novel.
For more information about Bob Mielke’s career, pick up a copy of The Index Jan. 18 and Jan. 25.