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.

A snapshot:

  • 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 Dublin, Ireland;
  • 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.
Professors Dressed in Graduation robes stand on Campus Walk.

ELC Professors.

Meet the ELC Faculty


Antonio Barrenechea. Professor. Comparative literature; literature of the Americas; film studies; literary theory.

Brenta Blevins. Assistant Professor. Writing studies; digital studies; literacy; multimodality/multiliteracy; digital literacy and digital rhetoric; augmented and virtual reality.

Shumona Dasgupta. Associate Professor. Postcolonial studies; literature of the Partition.

Chris Foss. Professor. 19th-century British literature; disability studies.

Kate Haffey. Associate 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.

Jonathan Levin.  Professor of English.  American Literature, 19th century to the present; modernism and postmodernism; environmental studies and environmental writing; higher education.

Eric Lorentzen. Professor. 19th-century British literature; Victorian novel; Dickens; the Brontës; Austen; Wordsworth; Cultural Studies; critical pedagogy; the short story.

Maya Mathur. 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. 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.

Sushma Subramanian. Assistant Professor and Faculty Adviser to The Blue and Gray Press..  Journalism.

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.

Rachel Levy. Assistant Professor. Creative writing, fiction and memoir; humor studies.

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. Associate Professor. Sociolinguistics; discourse analysis; linguistic anthropology; Asian American studies.

Judith Parker. Professor. Linguistics, especially psycholinguistics; acoustic phonetics; speech processing; dyslexia; women’s studies.


Emily Deering Crosby. Assistant Professor. Rhetorical criticism; digital studies; popular culture and critical theory; rhetorical strategy; visual rhetoric.

Adria Goldman. Assistant Professor. Media Representations (influences/effects), Race and Gender Studies, Black Women’s Studies, Organizational Communication, Publicity and Public Relations.

Elizabeth Johnson-Young. Assistant Professor. Health communication; health and media; media effects; public relations and campaigns; social science research methods.

P. Anand Rao. Professor and Director of the Speaking Intensive Program. Rhetorical theory and criticism; visual rhetoric; public argument; rhetoric of science.

Jesse Stommel. Senior Lecturer. Digital studies and higher education pedagogy.

Affiliated and Part-Time Faculty in ELC

Rosemary Arneson. University Librarian. Adjunct Instructor of digital studies.

Cartland Berge. Interim Director, Digital Knowledge Center. Adjunct Instructor of digital studies.

Adrienne Brovero. Director of Debate. Adjunct Instructor of communication.

Vanessa Eslinger-Brown. Adjunct Instructor of English.

Gwen Hale. Director of the Writing Intensive Program. Adjunct Instructor of English.

Danielle Hartman. Adjunct Instructor of communication.

Blair Miller. Adjunct Instructor of journalism.

John T. Morello. Professor of Communication and UMW Associate Provost. Public speaking; argumentation and debate; political communication; rhetoric; small group communication.

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.

Lance Schmeidler. Adjunct Instructor of communication.

Duncan Warner. Adjunct Instructor of English.

Lisa Withers. Adjunct Instructor of communication.