University News

Celebration of Life Set for Viktor Kemper

July 30, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- A celebration of life for Viktor Kemper, a writing instructor and senior associate faculty member in Western Illinois University's department of English and journalism, will be held from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 at the Old Bailey House in Macomb. A mass will also be held at the Newman Center at a date to be determined. Kemper died July 20 in Macomb. Memorial contributions may be made to TAPS-No Kill Animal Shelter or to the McDonough District Hospital Hospice Program.

Kemper joined Western's faculty in August 1984 and taught in the University Writing Program in 25 years. His specialty was English 280 "College Writing", and he taught the only night writing courses in the department.

According to Alice Robertson, English professor and director of writing, during his career at Western, Kemper, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Miami, Ohio, continually expanded his academic expertise by auditing writing seminars like English 615, "Topics in Composition and Rhetoric," and by teaching a variety of department courses: English 100
"Basic Writing"; English 180 and 280, the department's required freshman and sophomore courses; English 195, "Introduction to Literature" and English 381, "Technical Communication." He also conducted research for the University's writing program in a number of his classes. One semester he taught two of his required four courses in a computer lab and two in a traditional classroom when the writing program was deciding on the role of technology in the teaching of writing, Robertson added.

Outside of the classroom, Kemper served as a reader for poetry manuscripts submitted to the Mississippi Valley Review in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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