Dr. Mark Pearson


Mark PearsonPh.D., 1991. University of Kansas. His dissertation is titled Kudrun: The Uses of Narrative Schematism. He has two masters of arts degrees from the University of Kansas (German, 1982) and University of Cincinnati (Ancient History, 1976). His thesis in Ancient History was titled The Sources of the Vita Aureliani in the Historia Augusta. His bachelor of arts degree is from the University of Kansas (History, 1973).


Oral Poetics; Indo-European Mythologies.


International Film.

Professional Organizations

Member, American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)

Academic Awards

· Lillian Corley Faculty Development/Travel Award, Cottey College, 1995 and 2002.
· Graduate Direct Exchange Scholar. Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, 1986-87.
· Germanistic Society of America Scholar. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i. Breisgau, 1980-81.
· Fulbright Scholar. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i. Breisgau, 1980-81.

Mark Pearson - The "Unofficial" Biography

The son of Celtic chieftans and Danish kings, Mark Pearson was, due to political intrigue and narrative exigency, placed in a wicker basket and committed to the waters of the Missouri River in 1951.

Washing ashore on the bluffs above Kansas City, Pearson was raised in a cave by displaced descendants of the Tuatha De Danaan, from whom he imbibed vast quantities of ancient Indo-European lore and Guinness Stout.

In 1969 Pearson matriculated at the University of Kansas, where he watched the Student Union burn and majored in History, obtaining his B.A. with an emphasis in Ancient History in 1973. Pearson pursued graduate studies in Ancient History and Classics at the University of Cincinnati from 1975-79, earning his first M.A. in 1976 with the thesis The Sources of the Vita Aureliani in the Historia Augusta.

Frustrated by the lack of the latter work's commercial success, the decline of the Big Red Machine, and the preponderance of polyester leisure suits in southern Ohio, Pearson returned to the University of Kansas to study Germanic Languages and Literatures.

After spending the summer of 1979 in Eutin, Germany, Pearson applied for a scholarship to the University of Freiburg. Awarded a Fulbright Travel Scholarship for academic year 1980-81, Pearson studied philosophy of language and German humor in Freiburg. Long hikes in the Schwarzwald in the vicinity of Martin Heidegger's famous retreat of Todtnau, coupled with the availability of very reasonably priced dry red wines led Pearson to consider moving to Germany altogether.

Nevertheless, his shocking discovery that, after almost twelve months of relentless investigation, there was no such thing as German humor induced--no, compelled--him to return to the United States to complete his M.A. in German.

From 1982 to 1984 Pearson worked as a free-lance technical writer and translator in Lawrence, Kansas and the Kansas City area before reentering the German Department at the University of Kansas to pursue doctoral studies.

Changing his academic emphasis from linguistic philosophy to medieval German and historical linguistics, Pearson studied Middle High German, Old Norse, and Gothic before leaving once again for Germany, where he studied Old High German (there was one, once, and he personally knew Timothy Leary) at the University of Tübingen.

Gazing for hours (well, actually, about 90 seconds) at the renowned Hölderlin Tower on the banks of the river Neckar, where the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, hopelessly insane, spent the majority of his adult life, Pearson realized the Ivory Tower would actually pay you to be crazy, and set to writing his tedious dissertation, Kudrun: The Structure of Narrative Schematism with renewed zeal.

After feeding the Neckar ducks precious crumbs of Zwiebelbrot (onion bread) one last time, Pearson returned to Lawrence and defended his dissertation (boldly insisting it was important and even interesting) in 1990, the doctoral degree being awarded in 1991.

Called by the gods to Cottey College that same year, Pearson has continued to teach and research things German (elementary through advanced German, Germanic Folklore) and drawn on his earlier training and current interests to offer courses in Classical Mythology and International Film. Pearson's research interests include Oral Poetics, Indo-European Mythologies and contemporary film.

He will gladly answer all queries, including the Big Questions (e.g., "Why is there air?"; "What is the wind-speed velocity of an African swallow?"; "Could a just God create and sustain Barry Manilow?") at mpearson@cottey.edu or telephone number 417-667-8181, ext. 2229. Pax Vobiscum.

Email:  mpearson@cottey.edu