English Literature and Composition

ENG 255W English Literature Before 1660 (Fall 2022), Emory University

Course description: The course surveys the development of British literature from the Middle Ages to the Restoration. Students will study works of prose, poetry, drama, and fiction in relation to their historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. Texts will be selected from a diverse group of authors and traditions. This survey introduces students to the principal authors, works, and trends that comprise the canon of British literature from the seventh to the mid-seventeenth century.

Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major social, political, philosophical, and scientific events forming the backdrop for the development of early British Literature
  • Analyze literary works as expressions of individual or communal values within social/ethical, political, cultural, or religious contexts
  • Identify characteristic forms or styles of expression and how they change over time
  • Write about literature using standard literary terminology and other literary conventions

(ENG 312W Studies in Shakespeare) Shakespeare and (De)colonialism (Spring 2022), Emory University

Course Description

Colonization, historically and still today, is the tripartite process of territorial, economic, and mental conquest in which one group (indigenous people) is subordinated by another group under the forces of imperialism (Links to an external site.).   The lived experiences of decolonization challenge imperialism through forms of dissent, disobedience, resistance, and rebellion. Decolonization as theory interrogates the extent to which it is possible to use the “master’s tools” to dismantle the master’s house and “construct something better.”

What does this mean for Shakespeare, a centerpiece of the literature curriculum and ordained “master” of the English language? As scholars Katherine Gillen and Lisa Jennings (Links to an external site.) remind us, Shakespeare occupies a privileged place both in the white male canon and in the history of colonialism: his works were “marshalled in the interests of empire, often celebrated as evidence of Anglo cultural supremacy, and used as part of ‘civilizing’ colonial projects.”   However, at the same time, Shakespeare has been mobilized for anti-racist purposes, theatrical arts programming such as Shakespeare Behind Bars, and in such works as Aimé Césaire’s Une Tempête and Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, which “disrupt the colonial imaginaries that continue to inflict political and epistemological violence on colonized subjects.”

In this course, we will draw on anti-racist, feminist, and decolonial practices as we read through Shakespeare’s texts and more modern appropriations of his works to accomplish the following learning objectives:

  • Attend to the specific geographies, cultures, epistemologies, and colonial/racial histories embedded in our current political, social moment as they pertain to readings of Shakespeare
  • Interrogate Shakespeare’s colonial legacies and canonization
  • Center critical and creative responses to Shakespeare by BIPOC artists and critics
  • Privilege student cultural knowledge in critical literary analysis
  • Pursue intersectional understandings of identity in Shakespeare’s works
  • Analyze the racist, misogynist, and colonial violence of canonical texts 

(ENG 181 Writing about Literature) Going Home: Stories of Reintegration and Return, (Spring 2020), Emory University

  • Course Description: In the criminal justice system, reintegration refers to an incarcerated individual’s process of reentry into society. After war, society asks veterans to transition from life under threat to civilian life. Natural disasters and conflicts displace communities, leaving them little choice but to seek refuge and integrate into a “home away from home.” The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously wrote “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Journeys away from home and back can often be (trans)formative experiences, but for many soldiers, prisoners, and refugees, homecoming poses a unique set of financial, emotional, and psychological challenges. What is “home” anyway? Can you ever really go back? How can you restore what’s been lost?To better understand the process of reintegration in these settings, we will engage theories of trauma, moral injury, diaspora studies, and restorative justice practices to inform textual analysis of various literary genres including but not limited to the epic, romance, drama, lyrical poetry, film, and the novel form. This is a writing-intensive course, and students will develop the skills necessary to write about literature through a variety of creative and analytic assignments including reflections, close readings, museum label copy, and literary criticism. At the end of the semester you will curate a portfolio of your work and reflect on your progress as a writer and researcher.

(ENG 101 Composition) We the People: Writing and Dissent (Fall 2019), Emory University

  • Course Description: Debate and deliberation are essential components of democratic societies. Yet, U.S. democratic history is rife with examples of voices and perspectives silenced or excluded from political discourse. In turn, those marginalized by and/or from institutions of power have deployed various rhetorical strategies to oppose the status quo and defend the issues important to them. In this course, you will explore the language and legacy of dissent in speeches, court decisions, literature, performances, and demonstrations in order to understand, appreciate, and evaluate methods of composing dissent.  Like the authors we study, we’ll write to make change.  As civically-engaged citizens, many of us will also have the opportunity to make change in our communities by volunteering our time and talent with project SHINE, Emory’s premier engagement program with the refugee, immigrant, and new American communities in metro Atlanta. Over the course of the semester you will channel the spirit of dissent to create a series of projects, including a rhetorical analysis, an op-ed, and a multimodal presentation. At the end of the semester you will curate a portfolio of your work and reflect on your progress as a writer and researcher.

2017 First Year Writing Seminar, Boston College (Spring 2017)

2016 First Year Writing Seminar, Boston College (Fall 2016)


2019 British Literature Since 1660 (Prof. Paul Kelleher; Spring 2019)
2018 British Literature to 1660 (Prof. James Morey; Fall 2018)