Who are we?

The Department of English and Linguistics (ENLI) is anchored by a large and diverse faculty, with expertise that includes creative writing, 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 ENLI 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; Digital Studies; Disability Studies; and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality 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 multiple Individual Studies and Internships per semester for our students.
Professors Dressed in Graduation robes stand on Campus Walk.

ENLI Professors.

Meet the ENLI Faculty


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

Brenta Blevins. Associate 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 and Department Chair. 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.  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.


English: Creative Writing

Laura Bylenok. Associate Professor. Creative writing, poetry and prose.

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

Colin Rafferty. Professor. Creative writing, creative nonfiction.



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.


Affiliated and Part-Time Faculty in ENLI

Vanessa Eslinger-Brown. Adjunct Instructor of English.

Duncan Warner. Adjunct Instructor of English.

Zach Whalen. Associate Professor and Director of the Minor in Digital Studies. New media studies; digital textual studies; comics/graphic narrative; narratology.