Who are we?
The Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication is anchored by a large and diverse faculty, with expertise that includes communication, creative writing, debate, digital media, disability studies, film studies, gender/sexuality studies, linguistics, rhetoric, and the range of literary history from the medieval to the contemporary eras, covering virtually all genres. The faculty of ELC prides itself on its excellent teaching and its active professional life.
- We are master teachers, and our faculty includes winners of the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, considered to be the university’s most prestigious teaching prize, and the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award, given to a faculty member whom the senior class believes it will remember for having the greatest impact;
- We have won prizes, grants, and fellowships from the Library of Virginia, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Folger Library, the Clark Library, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Jessie Ball DuPont fund, among others;
- We are affiliated with American Studies, Asian Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Digital Studies;
- We receive significant institutional support for our active research projects in the form of Sabbaticals, Jepson Fellowships, the Waple Professorship, and College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grants;
- We lead regular study abroad programs in Bath, England, and Bangor, Wales;
- We are dedicated to undergraduate research, advanced creative projects, and meaningful professional experience, sponsoring approximately 20 Individual Studies and Internships per semester for our students.
Meet the ELC Faculty
Antonio Barrenechea. Associate Professor. Comparative literature; literature of the Americas; film studies; literary theory.
Shumona Dasgupta. Assistant Professor. Postcolonial studies; literature of the Partition.
Chris Foss. Professor. 19th-century British literature; disability studies.
Kate Haffey. Assistant Professor. 20th- century British literature; queer theory; narrative theory; women, gender, and sexuality studies.
Teresa Kennedy. Professor and Director, Simpson Program in Medieval Studies. Medieval literature; Renaissance literature.
Ben LaBreche. Associate Professor. English literature and history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; related continental and classical literatures; politics; gender.
Eric Lorentzen. Associate Professor. 19th-century British literature; British novel; cultural studies; critical pedagogy/literacy studies; narrative/literary theory; Dickens; the short story.
Maya Mathur. Associate Professor. Renaissance literature; cultural studies; comedy and genre theory; gender studies.
Marie McAllister. Professor. Restoration and eighteenth-century literature; travel literature; literature and medicine.
Gary Richards. Associate Professor and Department Chair. U.S. literature; twentieth- and twenty-first-century U.S. fiction and drama; southern literature; African American literature; gender and sexuality studies.
Mara Scanlon. Professor. Modern and contemporary poetry and poetics; women’s literature; Asian American literature; ethics and literature; digital humanities.
Danny Tweedy. Associate Professor. African American literature.
Zach Whalen. Associate Professor and Director of the Minor Program in Digital Studies. New media studies; digital textual studies; comics/graphic narrative; narratology.
English: Creative Writing
Laura Bylenok. Assistant Professor. Creative writing, poetry and prose.
Jon Pineda. Assistant Professor. Creative Writing, multigenre.
Colin Rafferty. Associate Professor. Creative writing, creative nonfiction.
Warren Rochelle. Professor. Creative writing, science fiction and fantasy; Rhetoric and composition (theory, history, pedagogy).
Paul Fallon. Associate Professor. Linguistics; phonology; morphology; historical linguistics; writing systems; Cushitic linguistics.
Janie Lee. Assistant Professor. Sociolinguistics; discourse analysis; linguistic anthropology; Asian American Studies.
Judith Parker. Professor. Linguistics, especially psycholinguistics; acoustic phonetics; speech processing; dyslexia; women’s studies.
Elizabeth Johnson-Young. Assistant Professor. Health communication; health and media; media effects; public relations and campaigns; social science research methods.
Jessy Ohl. Assistant Professor. Political communication; the rhetoric of war; rhetorical theory; democratic deliberation and facilitation.
Affiliated and Part-Time Faculty in ELC
Jonathan Levin. Professor of English and University of Mary Washington Provost. American Literature, 19th century to the present; modernism and postmodernism; environmental studies and environmental writing; higher education.
Timothy M. O’Donnell. Professor of Communication and UMW Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success. Public argument; debate; rhetoric of science; rhetorical theory and criticism.
Beverly Almond. Adjunct Instructor in English. Non fiction genres (political pamphlets, sermons, spiritual autobiography) of 17th century English women; Appalachian literature and folklore.
Vanessa Eslinger-Brown. Adjunct Instructor in English.
Araceli “Shelly” Palomino. Adjunct Instructor in Communication. Public speaking; intercultural communication; interpersonal communication.
Jennifer Renn. Adjunct Instructor in Linguistics.
Amanda Rutstein. Adjunct Instructor in English. Creative writing; poetry.
Lavona Suppes. Adjunct Instructor in English.
Elizabeth Wade. Adjunct Instructor in English. American Literature; creative writing; editing.
Timothy Waltonen. Adjunct Instructor in English.
Duncan Warner. Adjunct Instructor in English. Modernism; Shakespeare; Wittgenstein; 18th-Century British novel.
Lisa Withers. Adjunct Instructor in Communication.