Dr. Wes Berry
Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor
Office: Cherry Hall 110B
ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing
ENG 200 Introduction to Literature
ENG 321 American Studies: Land, Nature, Wilderness
ENG 392 Survey of American Literature II
ENG 395 Contemporary Literature
ENG 394 Kentucky Literature
ENG 495/G Southern Literature
ENG 534 Studies in Genre: Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism
ENG 596 Seminar in American Writers: Regionalism vs. Cosmopolitanism in Modern American Literature
environmental literature / social justice / eco-literacy, Southern studies, regional foodways
Wes Berry, a Barren County native, earned his undergraduate degree here at WKU and his PhD at The University of Mississippi. Before returning to WKU as a faculty member, he taught at Rockford College in upstate Illinois. Born in Horse Cave and raised in Glasgow, Wes cherishes the small-scaled farms, rolling hills, abundant rivers, and diverse forests of cave country Kentucky that have shaped his work ethic and imagination. His major literary focus is 20th century American literature, with an emphasis on environmental writing. He serves as Director of Graduate Studies for the English department.
One of Wes’s long-term interests is foodways, especially regional cuisines and also the connections between eating and ecology. He’s organized courses, like English 100 and 200, around food-related themes. He wrote The Kentucky Barbecue Book (2013) to celebrate the rich meat smoking traditions of the Commonwealth. During several years of roadtripping all over Kentucky, he’s visited over 175 non-franchise barbecue places (some of them multiple times), interviewed the owners and people who tend the barbecue pits, eaten many of God’s creatures deliciously smoked, and finally given in to the cholesterol pill.
In an effort to eat closer to home, Wes and his wife Elisa grow meat and gardenstuff on land that lays between the beautiful Green and Barren Rivers. They’ve raised (and eaten) pigs, sheep, and rabbits. Other residents include 5 dogs, 2 cats, and seasonal Purple Martins.
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