A first-generation college student, Erik Kline hails from suburban Minnesota. He completed his M.A. in English Literature at Winona State University, a liberal arts school in the Mississippi Valley region of southern Minnesota. He's a PhD candidate in UA's English department with a focus on 20th century American fiction and nonfiction. His dissertation focuses on the spiritual fallout of the atomic bomb in America's Cold War literature. His research interests include religious studies, addiction studies, freak studies, iconography, and gender theory. He's been both a mentee and a mentor in the Graduate School's Tide Together program and has served in various positions, including president, of UA's English Graduate Organization.