Flammarion Colored
Joseph E. Becker
Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo / A star shines on the hour of our meeting
(The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Ch. 3)

Flag of Scotland


I was born in Burlington, Iowa  of German and Scottish heritage; however, I spent the bulk of my youth in Rock Hill, South Carolina. I have been an enthusiastic reader from a young age and became interested in literary studies after encountering J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in my teens. My love of reading eventually led me to pursue a BA in English at Winthrop University, and it was there that I also met my future wife, Geraldine Cannon, who is from the town of Salem in western South Carolina. After earning a Master's degree in English Literature at Winthrop, I taught at community colleges in North and South Carolina during the early 1990s. I also began reading works by Joseph Campbell and developed an interest in Comparative mythology and Comparative religion.

In mid-1990s, Geraldine and I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas where she had been admitted into the MFA program in the Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas. While taking a course in the Jungian analysis of fairy tales, Geraldine introduced me to the writings of Carl Jung as well as the director of the Comparative Literature program, John R. Locke, who encouraged me to pursue a PhD in Comparative Literature. I did so and specialized in English, French, and German Romanticism. While working as a graduate teaching assistant conducting courses in composition and world literature, I completed my academic work and earned a second Master's degree and a Doctorate in Comparative Literature.

In 2003, I joined the faculty of the University of Maine at Fort Kent where, over the years, I have taught a variety of courses in argumentation, world literature, philosophy, mythology, and comparative religion. I have also published numerous academic articles, and I am the program coordinator for English at UMFK. After serving as Assistant Professor of English, I was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of English in 2009. In 2016, I was promoted to Professor of English.

In addition to my literary studies, I am also a trained NWS Storm Spotter with certification in weather forecasting I earned from Penn State University. I compose regular forecast blogs on Facebook for the Upper Saint John Valley and write a weekly forecast column for the northern Maine newspapers.

Aside from studying literary works, I particularly enjoy reading books on history as well as works in the fields of philosophy, religion, science, and depth psychology. I listen to a wide range of music with particular interest in Baroque, jazz, and progressive rock. Geraldine, who is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UMFK, and I live in Fort Kent, and we have two adult daughters who are artists.

Carl G. Jung
Carl G. Jung

Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell


J. R. R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien
Professor of Anglo-Saxon & author, The Lord of the Rings