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Graduate Faculty

Dr. Stacy C. Boyd, Associate Professor of English, specializes in African American literature and culture.  His research interests also include theories of race and gender, the African American novel, African American autobiography, and Black Church culture, and his book Black Men Worshipping was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2011. Dr. Boyd teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century African American literature and culture, exploring issues of racial, gender, and cultural identity.

Dr. Lisa Crafton, Professor of English, specializes in British Romanticism and British Women Writers.  Her first book, an edited collection The French Revolution Debate in English Literature and Culture (Greenwood, 1997), offers an interdisciplinary look at French Revolutionary discourse. Her recently published Transgressive Theatricality, Romanticism, and Wollstonecraft (Ashgate, 2011) examines the intersections of theater, gender, and spectacle in Romanticism, focusing on the fiction and nonfiction of Mary Wollstonecraft. She has published extensively on Romantic writers Wollstonecraft, Blake, and Wordsworth.

Dr. John Micheal Crafton, Professor of English, specializes in Medieval Literature and teaches additional courses in History of the English Language and Critical Theory.  He has published extensively on Chaucer and medieval rhetoric and culture.  His book The Political Artistry of the Bayeux Tapestry: A Visual Epic of Norman Imperial Ambitions (2007) examines the Bayeux Tapestry as an important artistic text of visual culture that provides a lens into power dynamics of European medieval culture.

Dr. Chad Davidson, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, specializes in contemporary poetry and poetics. His collections of poems include Consolation Miracle (2003) and The Last Predicta (2008), both from Southern Illinois University Press. In addition, he is co-author (with Gregory Fraser) of two textbooks: Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), and Analyze Anything: A Guide to Critical Reading and Writing (Continuum, 2012).

Dr. Maria Doyle, Associate Professor of English, studies modern British literature with an emphasis on performance theory and postcolonial studies. Her primary research is in  the areas of Irish and Canadian Studies, and she has published extensively on modern Irish theater, including examinations of national identity and violence in the work of contemporary playwrights Martin McDonagh and Marina Carr. Her current project examines Canadian crime drama as a forum for exploring anxieties within Canadian national consciousness.

Dr. Patrick Erben, Associate Professor of English, specializes in early American literature, from the period of exploration and contact to the Civil War.  Particularly, he focuses on intercultural and translingual contact between the manifold cultures and ethnicities in the Americas, such as English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, and other European immigrants, Native Americans, and African Americans.  His first book, A Harmony of the Spirits: Translation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania, challenges the long-standing historical myth--first promulgated by Benjamin Franklin--that language diversity posed a threat to communal coherence in early America.

Dr. Gregory Fraser, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, is the author of two poetry collections, Strange Pietà (Texas Tech, 2003) and Answering the Ruins (Northwestern, 2009). He is also the co-author, with Chad Davidson, of the workshop textbook Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009) and the composition textbook Analyze Anything: A Guide to Critical Reading and Writing (Continuum, 2012). The recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, his poetry has appeared in journals including the Paris Review, the Southern Review, and the Gettysburg Review.

Dr. Rebecca Harrison specializes in Southern Women’s Literature and English Education.

Dr. Emily Hipchen, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, specializes in  autobiography (texts that  develop the notion of a "self" or an "identity" for their first-person narrators) and the literature of adoption. She publishes both original autobiographical material and scholarship about these texts. Dr. Hipchen is the editor of  a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, the journal of record for the discipline, and Adoption & Culture, a biennial publication devoted to interdisciplinary approaches to adoption studies.

Dr. Angela Insenga, Associate Professor of English and English Education, teaches primarily English Education courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Her areas of expertise include high British Modernism, in particular Virginia Woolf, Composition and Rhetoric, Pedagogy, and Feminist theory.  Dr. Insenga’s current research foci include adolescent and media literacy and Young Adult literature.

Dr. Debra MacComb, Associate Professor of English, specializes in American Realism and Naturalism and Women's and Cultural Studies. Her first book, Tales of Liberation/Strategies of Containment, focused upon the impact of divorce on the traditional marriage plot and women's representation within that plot.  Currently working on a book on Alimony and Vampirism in American literature/film from the 1890s to 1930s, she has published on Edith Wharton, Henry James, Kate Chopin, William Dean Howells, Abraham Cahan and Mark Twain.

Dr. Josh Masters, Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies, is a student of American culture and a teacher of American cultural studies. His research and scholarly work ranges across the wild west of the early nineteenth century, the Wild West shows and World Expositions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the literature of American racial identities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has recently taught graduate classes on the novels of Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy, Race and the Twentieth-Century American Novel, and The Origins of the American Novel. His scholarly articles have appeared in American Studies, Arizona Quarterly, The Journal of Narrative Theory, and Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. He is currently editing a forthcoming issue of LIT: Literature, Interpretation, and Theory on representations of the apocalypse in literature and film, and he has vague hopes of someday breaking eighty on the golf course and hosting a show on Food Network.

Dr. Laura Miller, Assistant Professor of English, studies the intersections of gender, media, and science during the eighteenth century, offering classes that employ an interdisciplinary approach to eighteenth-century literature. She has forthcoming publications on English editions of Il Newtonianismo per le Dame (Newtonianism for Ladies) and medicine in M.G. Lewis’s The Monk and is currently working on a book project about print, celebrity, and the career of Sir Isaac Newton.

Dr. Margaret Mitchell, Associate Professor of English and Associate Chair, specializes in Victorian literature.

Dr. David Newton, Professor and Chair of English, teaches courses in linguistics (History of the English Language, Linguistic Variation in American English, Language Pedagogy, and English Grammar), Colonial and Nineteenth Century American Literature, Southern Literature,and Native American Literature.  His professional interests are in the areas of historical linguistics and Southern literature with publications and research focused primarily on the language, culture, and literature of the American Antebellum.

Dr. Meg Pearson, Associate Professor of English, specializes in medieval and early modern English drama including Shakespeare, Renaissance poetry, and early modern visual culture. Recent publications have considered Jacobean witchcraft drama, the pedagogy of revenge in Titus Andronicus, and the politics of spectacle in Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great. She is currently working on a book project which recontextualizes early modern theater within the visual culture of the Renaissance.

Dr. Alison Umminger, Associate Professor of English, specializes in Creative Writing, Fiction.