Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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K. CARTER WHEELOCK
K. Carter Wheelock, professor emeritus of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, died 31 of August, 2013, at the age of eighty-nine. His home town was Lubbock, where he obtained his B.A. (1948) and M.A. (1950), at Texas Tech University. He obtained his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin in 1966. He spent his career at UT Austin retiring in 1994. His scholarly specialization was in contemporary Spanish-American literature, and he was also vigorously dedicated to improving the writing of students at all levels. The recipient of one of the first President's Associates Teaching Awards, he was also awarded a number of grants, notably one from the Rockefeller Foundation for the establishment of an English department at La Universidad del Valle, in Cali, Colombia.
Professor Wheelock's research interests centered on the short fiction of the internationally renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and, more generally, Spanish American fantastic narrative. In his literary criticism and his teaching, he tended to focus on non-realistic prose fiction. Among his several publications in the field of Spanish-American literature, he is perhaps particularly remembered for his book-length study of Borges, The Mythmaker: A Study of Motif and Symbol in the Short Stories of Jorge Luis Borges (University of Texas Press, 1969), one of the first monographic studies to explore Borges's contribution to world literature.
A hallmark of all Professor Wheelock's scholarship is clear, well-organized writing, which Wheelock liked to attribute to his lengthy experience as a political speechwriter, journalist, and magazine editor. This dedication to clearly-written expository prose was also the basis of one of Wheelock's greatest contributions as a teacher. Known for his dedication to all aspects and levels of our department's teaching program, including his invariable emphasis on clearly written Spanish, he was particularly recognized for his commitment to upper-division undergraduate courses in advanced Spanish composition, which he regarded as absolutely essential to the academic and future professional success of our students. At the same time, his teaching contribution was not limited to our students. He was greatly appreciated as well by his department colleagues, especially junior faculty, for his invaluable and resourceful mentorship in professional matters, above all, the stylistic necessities of academic prose writing and the practical details of submission, placement, and publication of academic articles and books.
Professor Wheelock performed a considerable amount of administrative service during his time at the University. Most notably, he served as associate dean of the College of Humanities under Dean Stanley Werbow, and was acting chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese on more than one occasion. He also served as chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. His colleagues remember him as a dedicated administrator who demonstrated a strong commitment to his department by stepping into administrative roles whenever his talents were needed.
Professor Wheelock was also active in service to the community, state, and nation throughout his life. He served for three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and as a speechwriter for Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd prior to coming to UT Austin.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Dean P. Neikirk, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Michael P. Harney, Naomi Lindstrom, Cory A. Reed.