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Spring 2019: A Voyage of Discovery

Norton Wheeler

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

After mini-careers as welfare caseworker and library bookmobile driver, Norton Wheeler held managerial positions in manufacturing industries for 25 years. During the last ten of those years, he was simultaneously enrolled in graduate school at the University of Kansas. Conveniently, his final business assignment, from 2004-2006, was establishing a factory in China’s Jiangsu Province. During that time, he was also able to conduct some of his doctoral research on nongovernmental relations between the United States and China. He earned his doctorate at the University of Kansas in 2007 and taught Asian and U.S. history courses for seven years at Missouri Southern State University. As a “retirement” destination, Wheeler and his wife, Terry, chose Chattanooga, where he enjoys teaching classes as an adjunct at that city’s campus of the University of Tennessee. He maintains an active research agenda, takes ballroom dancing and tai chi classes with his wife, is a Big Brother, plays the clarinet, and plays chess with a friend in person and with his grandson on the Internet. Wheeler has literary as well as historical interests. He is a member of the Melville Society and has a scholarly article on Herman Melville and German philosophy in “revise and resubmit” status. In 2016, he won the James Joyce look-alike contest at Chattanooga’s annual Bloomsday celebration, commemorating the day (June 16) that transpires over the course of James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses.