60 Seconds: English professor Heather Houser

Thomas Boswell

Editor’s Note: 60 Seconds is a recurring series that peeks into the lives of professors across campus. This Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity.

English professor Heather Houser teaches classes on contemporary American literature and the writing of David Foster Wallace. She released her first book, “Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect,” last year, which discusses how fiction can help bring awareness of environmental issues to its audience.  She shared her thoughts with The Daily Texan on Uber rides, GOP candidates and her favorite campus hiding spots.

Daily Texan: What’s your favorite book?
Heather Houser: I don’t really have one, though a lot of people expect me to say “Infinite Jest,” since I’ve taught it so many times. But for now I’ll say “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy.

DT: What’s your ideal Uber ride?
HH: I dislike Uber. My ideal Uber ride would be none at all.

DT: If you had to date one of the GOP candidates who would it be?
HH: Oh that’s cruel. Carly Fiorina.

DT: If you could challenge to a one-on-one basketball game any UT English department faculty member, who would it be?
HH: Coleman Hutchison.

DT: Do you have a least favorite word in the English dictionary?
HH: Not really, no.

DT: If you were a thermometer, what temperature would you like to read?
HH: 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

DT: What barnyard animal would you most like to have as a pet?
HH: A goat.

DT: What singer would you like to do a duet with?
HH: I’m a terrible singer, so anyone who is good and loud. The lead singer of the National.

DT: If you were a slice of pizza, what toppings would you have?
HH: Figs and apricots.

DT: Where on campus would you hide from anxious test-takers if you were the albino squirrel?
HH: I would hide in the Turrell light installation on top of the CLA.

DT: Which “Lord of the Rings” character do you most identify with?
HH: I really don’t know “Lord of the Rings” well enough.

DT: Do you have any odd hobbies or pastimes?
HH: Nothing very odd. I guess this goes back to the Uber question a bit. I don’t have a car, so I bike everywhere. It’s not that odd to bike. I dance.