Dr. Mark Gellis: The Home Page
The Home Page
Hello and welcome to my web page.
If you have questions or need to contact me, please feel free to e-mail me
Dr. Mark Gellis
Basic statistics...I was born
in Queens, NY on June 1, 1959, which means I have passed the
half-century mark. Thus, sadly, I am a lot
more gray now than I was when they took that picture to the left.
I received a B.A. in English from SUNY-Binghamton in 1981 and then
received an M.A. in English from The
University of Illinois in 1983. The next really important date was
October 23, 1992, when I married my wife Sandra (who is a little bit
camera shy, so if you want to find out what she looks like you'll just
have to come out to Michigan and visit us). I graduated from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in English
(specialization in Rhetoric and Composition) in 1993. And, on March 9,
1994, Sandra and I were joined by our daughter, Elizabeth. For many
years, Sandra, Elizabeth and I had a Russian Blue named Boris, who was
one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. We lost Boris to
old age (he was nearly 19) in November of 2006, but we are now the proud
owners a beautiful black cat named Spock. (My daughter insisted on this name. Personally,
I think she's more a "Spooky" than a "Spock.") We think Spock is a
Bombay, but we are not sure. More recently, we
adopted Daruma (pronounced "Darma"), a rescue dog, a Shiba
Inu, and Miss Kiki (another Russian Blue). Poor Miss Spock was
used to being the only pet in the house and probably thinks she has died and gone to Kitty Hell.
a rhetorician, which means I am a teacher and scholar whose main areas of
expertise are teaching writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills and
exploring how texts are written, disseminated, and interpreted. My
special areas of interest are pedagogy (the study of teaching) and
rhetorical criticism (the study of how texts influence audiences). I am
also interested in such topics as technical and professional
communications, the role of rhetoric as a tool for citizens in a
democratic society, distance and online education, political and religious
rhetoric, eighteenth century literature, science fiction and fantasy, and
the rhetoric of popular culture.
Some of my current research
projects include methods of teaching professional and technical writing,
methods of teaching literature, and exploring the literary, rhetorical,
and ethical aspects of anime, horror films, and games.
Aren't you glad you asked?
Between 1994 and
1997, I was an Assistant Professor of English at the South Dakota School of Mines and
Technology, where I taught Freshman Composition, Literature, and
I am now an Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies at Kettering University,
where I teach professional communication, literature, and
interdisciplianry humanities. I am also proud to serve as the faculty
advisor of a chapter of Delta
Chi fraternity here at Kettering.
presently placing some of my handouts and other
teaching materials on the Internet so that students and teachers alike
can take advantage of them. As the author of these documents, I give
permission for them to be reproduced and distributed, without charge, but
with the restriction that they may not be sold for profit (like anyone
would pay for them) or modified without my permission; furthermore, I
request that teachers who make use of these documents cite me as the
Some Interesting Links
Rhetoric Page at Kettering University. I wrote the Rhetoric Page as a
launching point for people who need information on writing, rhetoric,
technical communications, literature, the teaching of these disciplines,
and related topics. I have also added a second set
of links that covers related topics and information resources on the
I love old movies. And when I need information on some
obscure film, I know I can turn to The Internet Movie
Database for the information I need.
In case you were wondering, I am related to
Roberta Gellis, the novelist; she is my mother. If you want information
about her or her books, you can find it at her web site.
I spend entirely too much time watching cartoons. A
very useful source, particularly for those interested in anime, is the
Anime News Network. Not
surprisingly, I was happy to see the formation of the
Anime Club. Finally, an excellent and very entertaining site discussing all areas of film,
animation, and popular culture is TV
Tropes. The only trouble with these sites is that,
once you start reading, you may not want to stop!
I also love previews. I recently discovered the Coming Soon! web site, which (as
you might expect) is dedicated to upcoming films, books,
and so on.
Another method I have found for squandering my free time
is playing either computer games like Harpoon or Railroad Tycoon or RPGs
like those published by Steve Jackson
Games. One site related to rpgs especially worth checking out is The Traveller Map, an
interactive map of the vast fictional setting of the classic sf
role-playing game, Traveller.
Harpoon is a very realistic naval tactical simulator, probably one of
the best military strategy games ever developed. It is great fun to
play and its excellent scenario editor allows one to create an almost
endless variety of new scenarios whenever one wants. Some excellent
starting points for anyone interested in this fascinating game (and the very active
Internet-based community of players and scenario designers) are HarpGamer, Ed Ladner's Harpoon Page, and the Harpoon Database
Encyclopedia. The official AGSI (Advanced Gaming Systems) page
is here. For those of you
interested in the real thing, you can check out the Department of Defense. Some useful sites on American and world naval history include Haze Gray & Underway, Hullnumber, the Naval History and
Heritage Command, the Naval
Vessel Register, and Navypedia.
My other interests include good music and bizarre humor. A
wonderful combination of the two appears in the form of Riders in the Sky, a
remarkable team whose live tours and PBS shows offer some incredibly
beautiful music from the western half of the Country & Western tradition
and humor that might be described as Gene Autry crossed with the Firesign
Theater. For those seeking the truly strange, I also recommend Heywood Banks. Heywood Banks is a
brilliant but twisted songwriter whose compositions cover everything
from dead cats to dust mites; he is a very funny man and worth checking
My wife and I used to be active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, an
international not-for-profit organization dedicated to studying human
history and society before 1600. We don't get to many events anymore,
but we have many fond memories. They do everything from fencing to
making their own armor and costumes to recreating medieval feasts and
dances with authentic, period recipes and music. Sound
interesting? If so, check out their links. For those of you living in
the Flint area who
would like to learn more about the SCA, the local group is the
Shire of Stormvale.
Get Me Out of Here...
Well, the nerve of some
people! Write a nice Home Page for them to browse and all they want to do
is click and be on their way! But if you really must be going, you
can either go back to the main web page for Kettering
University or to my Rhetoric
Page. Take care. Keep in touch. Don't be a stranger. (Or, at
least, don't be any stranger than you already are...)
This page was last updated on July 30, 2012.