Paul Marchbanks

I hold with Flannery O'Connor to the belief that faith "increases rather than decreases my vision." Accordingly, I seek truth wherever it waits to be found in the literature and cinema I teach at Cal Poly--from the most overtly theistic narratives of C. S. Lewis and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, to the stylistically and ideologically challenging fictions of writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the topically harrowing films of modern auteurs like Lars von Trier and Scott Derrickson. Seeking divine guidance through prayer, scripture, and the leadings of the Holy Spirit, I delve with my students into pretty dark, sometimes bleak territory, assured that in the realm of the imagination--as in life--our shepherd walks with us through the darkest valleys of human experience (Ps. 23:4).

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Look through the sign to the thing signified." Robert Browning's "With Bernard Mandeville" (1887)

Friends describe me

as very intentional

My hobbies

photography, videography, swimming

Fantasy dinner guests

Robert Browning and Flannery O'Connor

Best advice I ever received

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).

My undergrad alma mater

Centre College

In college I drove

nothing! Green lifestyle, baby! (Even now, I ride my bike more often than I drive our one car)

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a marriage counselor

Favorite books

too many to name, but . . . a few favs: C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, J. Conrad's The Secret Agent,

Favorite movies

The Empire Strikes Back, Dogville, Mad Max: Fury Road,

Favorite city

Cadaqués, Spain

Favorite coffee

I don't drink coffee very often at all. Water's my go-to drink

Nobody knows I

I cannot answer this question, literally. The instant I published it to the world, I'd need to replace it to fit the desired criteria 🙂

My latest accomplishment

teaching over a year of synchronous, online courses

Current Research

Writing a book inspired by the "Bible as Literature and in Literature and the Arts" course which I teach annually.