An avid zombie expert, Dr. Kyle Bishop had one goal in mind when he went to study music at Brigham Young University: become a university professor. It didn’t take long for him to realize he wanted a broader education so he changed his major from music to humanities in order to study art, literature, music and film.
Bishop earned his Bachelor's in Humanities from Brigham Young University then transferred to the University of Utah where he earned his Master’s in English. After teaching English at SUU for six years he decided to pursue a Ph.D. in American literature and film from the University of Arizona. He returned to SUU in 2009 and currently works as an English professor and as the Academic Coordinator of the Honors Program.
Bishop teaches the following classes:
- ENGL 3110 Literature and Film
- ENGL 3150 US Narrative Film
- ENGL 3220 American Literature
- ENGL 4510 Topics on Literature: Sci-Fi Film
- HONR 1040 Foundations of Honors
- HONR 2010 Interdisciplinary Topics
- HONR 2040 Honors Inquiry and Analysis
- HONR 3040 Honors Application and Dissemination
- HONR 4040/4990 Honors Capstone and Independent Study
In his current position, Bishop carries out many tasks including teaching, recruiting, faculty outreach, fundraising, writing and research. Teaching, however, is his favorite. He teaches courses in film and television studies, American literature, genre fiction, and composition.
“The best part of my week is when I’m in the classroom,” he said. “Teaching is so unpredictable that even if I teach the same course several times it won’t ever be the same experience.”
Bishop also enjoys learning from his students. His teaching style provides students with a discussion-based experience so they can learn from each other and he can learn from them. Often, he happily admitted, students see things he’s never noticed before. It’s a growing experience for everyone.
“I love the moments when I can see a student get it - when I present something in such a way that students say ’oh...okay’,” said Bishop. “It’s the moment I realize I accomplished something by shifting their view or helped them see things in a new way. That’s really pretty exciting.”
Another one of Bishop’s big passions is the study abroad program. He has led trips all over Europe and New Zealand to tackle topics like British gothic literature, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Last summer, Bishop took a group of students to Europe to celebrate 200 years of Frankenstein and learn about the influence of Mary Shelley’s book.
“Studying abroad is the most valuable educational experience a student can have during their undergrad,” said Bishop. “It gets people out of their comfort zone, texts are taught in context, students learn how to travel and the world becomes their classroom.”
A prime example of a jack-of-all-trades, Bishop’s many hobbies include travel, snowshoeing, video games, musical theater, film, literature and anything to do with pop culture. He’s also a big fan of Legos and Star Wars so, naturally, he has a huge collection of Star Wars Legos.
Bishop wrote and published two books: How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century and American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture. He invites anyone to follow him on Twitter under the handle @DrWalkingDead where he tweets about life, pop culture and, of course, zombies.