Dennis Wickman

Full name

Dennis R. Wickman

Presence at Shimer



Reed College 1963


Cornell University 1966


Mount Carroll-Waukegan period faculty

Dennis R. Wickman taught at Shimer College during the later Mount Carroll period and early Waukegan period. He joined the faculty in 1967, just after the Grotesque Internecine Struggle.

Wickman received his BA from Reed College in German and English in 1963, subsequently studied at Freie Universitaet in Berlin, and received his MA in German Literature from Cornell University in 1966.

A memorial plaque to Professor Wickman hangs in the Pi classroom in Chicago, as it did previously in Waukegan.


  • in Humanities Chairman Comments on Student Potential, Shimer College Bulletin, December 1975:
    Dennis Wickman, Shimer's German professor and Chairman of the Humanities Area, feels that, although the Shimer community rests on a solid and unique academic foundation, its potential is not fully realized.
    Having taught at Cornell University for a time (where he received his M.A. in German Literature in 1966), Wickman has had a chance to compare the experience of teaching in two different contexts. Among its advantages, Shimer gives the teacher a chance to teach a variety of classes. Wickman also teaches Humanities 1-Music and other Humanities basic courses; he enjoys the opportunity to extend himself into more than one field.
    Also, as a relatively young professor, Wickman appreciates the open atmosphere of Shimer classes permitting experimentation with various styles of teaching. Classes are small, and because of this, Wickman feels he derives much more feedback from the students. This contributes to a constant refinement of style and creates a unique rapport with the students.
    Many of his students find Wickman unusually demanding. From his own point of view, Shimer students tend to "drag their feet." "They're very good," he commented, "but they're lazy." This is due, he suggested, to the high proportion of underachievers at Shimer. It is typical, in his opinion, for Shimer to accept students who show promising potential, in spite of a dearth of obvious accomplishment. Many of these students balk at fulfilling this potential unless the professor insists on high standards in his courses.
    Wickman refers to a potential weakness of the discussion class method in his comment, "A lot of people like a class where everybody talks a lot — I like it when they say a lot."

This page is part of the Shimer College Wiki, an independent documentation project. Shimer College, the Great Books college of Chicago, is not responsible for its content.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.