Dr. Gene Young

Professor of English, Sam Houston State University

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I have been a professor of English at Sam since 1992. I teach at all levels, but my specialties are 20th-century American literature, the literature and culture of Texas, and Southwestern American literature. My chief scholarly research interest is Southwestern Literature, and particularly the fiction of Cormac McCarthy. I am a graduate of Borger Senior High School (located in Borger, Texas, in the Texas Panhandle). I took my undergraduate degree from West Texas State University (now West Texas A & M) in 1968. After five years as an Air Force officer and B-52 navigator, I returned to WTSU for my master's in English, which I completed in 1974. I took my Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee in 1979. Before coming to Sam, I taught at Texas A & M and Morehead (Kentucky) State University, where I directed the technical writing program and then served as head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy. I was chair of the SHSU Department of English and Foreign Languages from 1992 to 1999 and then dean of the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College from 2006-2015. I served as interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences before returning to full-time classroom teaching in 2015. I am teaching full-time now and will until I retire, probably in July 2018. I live on our place north of Huntsville, Texas with my wife, Marynell, who recently retired after three decades of teaching English, Spanish, and ESL at high schools and colleges in California, Texas, Mexico, and Kentucky. Our three children--Jenny, Rachel, and Owen--all live and work in Austin, along with our five grandchildren. My main interest outside of my teaching is traditional American music. I play fiddle variously in three different traditional bands, one of which--the Young Family String Band--includes my wife and daughters. We also perform at historical re-enactments and other occasions with "Dr. E.T. Bushrod's" traditional nineteenth-century medicine show, as well as locally with the "No Foolin" String Band, which has been an outgrowth of the Sam Houston Friends of Traditional Music Four members of that band travel together each year to North Carolina and West Virgina to take part in oldtime music festivals and gatherings there. I hope when I die my tombstone will read, "Here lies a damned good fiddler."


Spring 2017 Teaching

English 3361 American Literature since the Civil War
English 3388 Texas Crossroads
English 4364

Methods of Teaching Secondary English




Note: Online access to these courses is available to my students through Sam Houston State University "Blackboard" course management software. You must be registered in one of my courses to have access, but if you have any questions or would like to have any of my course materials, feel free to contact me.







Last Updated: April 2017