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Research Interests

Professor Alley is a George Eliot and contemporary American fiction scholar, and is a writer of novels and stories. His book, The Quest for Anonymity: The Novels of George Eliot, is a study of the major heroic themes of the nineteenth century author, and has received favorable critical reaction from scholars in the field. In recognition of his book, Professor Alley was invited to present the George Eliot Memorial Lecture in Coventry, England in 1998. 

After coming out in 1985, Alley slowly brought more and more gay themes into his work, which may be described as literary fiction and which emphasize character and landscape. He is especially interested in people who are just getting on their feet, as well as the way a particular point of view may impinge on the outside world and alter its perceived textures. His story "Leonardo and I" bears both of these interests out, showing a young man breaking free of Freudian psychoanalysis in 1962 and affirming his true gay heritage found in the Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. His novel Precincts of Light dramatizes, in a story of five voices, a brother and sister, both newly out, recovering the lost affections of their children during Oregon’s anti-gay Measure Nine crisis. The novel also celebrates Gay/Lesbian Liberation in richly poetic language.  His new novel, Galen's Legacy, explores the need for gay mentorship as well as the general need for acceptance from friends and family.

Presently, Alley is teaching in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon.