Ohio Wesleyan University

Stylish Scribe: OWU Professor Becomes Columnist For National Publication

13 Jan , 2021  

By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan University professor David Caplan is well-suited for his new role. Literally.

After writing his first article for the Ivy Style website in October, Caplan, Ph.D., this month was named a regular columnist for the online publication. Launched in 2008, Ivy Style celebrates what is considered by some as the most enduring clothing style of the 20th century.

Caplan’s new column, “Office Hours,” is expected to appear every two or three weeks. In announcing their newest columnist, Ivy Style’s editors said: “Professor David Caplan’s recent articles were met with a warm reception, and so Ivy Style is honored to kick off the new year with a regular column for the tweedy professor. … Caplan will use it to continue exploring the intersection between traditional clothing and American culture past and present.”

In his debut article for Ivy Style, “Sartorial Confessions Of An English Professor,” Caplan wrote about his preference to dress more formally when he teaches his Ohio Wesleyan English literature and creative writing students.

Of his suits, ties, and wingtips, Caplan said: “I also like how they separate my professional and personal lives, especially since email and the changing nature of the profession have blurred this line. It is hard to prove, but I suspect that the formality of my clothes also has helped me to establish better relationships with my students. Our clothes confirm our roles, which, paradoxically, allows us to relate to each other more easily.”

In addition, the OWU professor said, “The clothes remind me I am about to go to work at a job I enjoy, sharing my knowledge of literature and writing with students discovering their own talents and interests.”

To date, Caplan has written five columns for Ivy Style, his most recent being “Regular Clothes,” which introduced him Jan. 4 as a regular contributor to the digital publication.

“My main writing projects remain my poetry and scholarship,” said Caplan, who is Ohio Wesleyan’s Charles M. Weis Professor of English and associate director of creative writing.

“I am writing the column for fun,” he continued. “In it, I will think about clothing in literature and on campus, thinking about how they have changed, and how they reflect our social moment. The readers of Ivy Style are very knowledgeable and passionate about these matters. My hope is they enjoy my perspective as an English professor.”

Caplan, a member of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of English since 2000, has published six books previously, most recently the poetry collection “Into My Garden” in 2020. This year Oxford University Press will publish his seventh book, “American Poetry: A Very Short Introduction.”

In addition to his forthcoming “American Poetry,” Caplan also is working on his third poetry collection, “North Shore,” a collection of elegies honoring his father, and a monograph of American poetry, tentatively titled, “The Art of Exclusion.”

Learn more about Ivy Style and read all of Caplan’s columns at www.ivy-style.com. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of English and its majors and minors at owu.edu/english.

Image by gksayaan22 from Pixabay

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