Whitworth English
Whitworth University Home Page
  Information About:
Faculty Page
Faculty Directory
Faculty Scholarship

Whitworth Home Page > English >

Personal Page: Leonard Oakland


  • Ph.D. from Washington State University
  • B.A. from Westmont College

Leonard Oakland came to Whitworth in 1966 after graduate study in English and Scandinavian at U.C. Berkeley. Before coming to Whitworth, he taught at Westmont College (1962-65) where he took his undergraduate degree in 1960. He did his doctoral work at Washington State University (1975-77), where he wrote his dissertation on Donald Davie and modern British poetry.

Since 2008, Oakland has moved to a 50 percent contract, and thus teaches two courses each semester (with Jan Terms free).  He continues to teach the Epic (Homer, Virgil, and Dante) and film studies (Documentary & Avant Garde Cinema; Classic American Films). After 40-plus years of association with Core 250, he still has excitement for the questions raised by Aristotle and Aquinas, Pascal and Nietzsche.Oakland helped to lead the France Study Program, from 1980 to 1998, and he led the British Isles Study Program from 1996 to 2002. Research interests include cinema studies and contemporary British poetry and fiction. Oakland has for more than 20 years served as producer and host of a classical music program on KPBX-fm (91.1.), the NPR affiliate in Spokane, and he has frequently participated in a weekly film critics show, Movies 101.  His daughter, Jordy, lives with her poet husband David in Cambridge, Mass: they have a new baby boy, born Aug. 27, 2010.  His son, Sather Gowdy, is a senior at Whitworth (sociology) and plans to attend law school next year.