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Chuck Lewis, Department Chair  

Current Faculty

Francesca Abbate

Associate Professor of English | B.A., Beloit College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | email | WAC 105 | office: 363-2029

Francesca AbbateProfessor Abbate teaches courses in creative writing, poetry, writing from art, and college writing. A graduate of Beloit College, with a major in creative writing, Professor Abbate completed a master of fine arts in poetry at the University of Montana and completed her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications and literary journals, including Elm, Field, The Iowa Review, The Journal, Poetry, and NEO. Her book Troy, Unincorporated is now out with the University of Chicago Press. Troy, Unincorporated is a poetic retelling of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde set in Southeastern Wisconsin. It was also a semifinalist for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award and a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro Prize. 

Joseph Bookman

Headshot of Joseph BookmanAssistant Professor of Media Studies | B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., University of Iowa

Professor Bookman teaches courses in media studies, film, and audio and video production. As a filmmaker, his work has screened at festivals in Europe, Asia, and South America, and has been included as part of the Cinéfondation selection at Cannes. His academic interests center on the history of technology, infrastructure, and media theory. He is also a programmer at the Slamdance Film Festival. 

Christina Clancy

Visiting Assistant Professor of English | B.A.,The University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | email | Writing Center 106| office: 363-2195

Christina ClancyProfessor Christi Clancy specializes in suburban literature, eco-criticism, and creative writing pedagogy. Her work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories and many other publications, including, most recently, the New York Times. Clancy's novel and creative dissertation addresses issues of spatial proximity, identity, and sense of place. She has also taught courses of her own design in creative writing, animated writing, composition, literature, and literary theory, including a class on creative adaptation titled "From the Short Story to the Big Screen" and a number of expository writing courses, on multidisciplinary topics such as climate change, suburban sprawl, and the American consumer. Clancy has served as Associate Producer of the Poetry Everywhere Project at UW Milwaukee and, before graduate school, worked as a communications manager and marketing specialist. 

Jean Franzino

Visiting Assistant Professor of English | B.A., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Virginia | email | WAC 108 | office: 363-2048

Jean Franzino, HeadshotJean Franzino teaches courses in American literature and culture and literature and social identity. She is particularly interested in the capacity of literature to contest or reinforce categories of race, gender, and disability. Professor Franzino's work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Quarterly and Disability Studies Quarterly. Her current research projects concern how the U.S. "freak show" influenced literary, popular, and political discourses on slavery and abolition, and how writings from the U.S. Civil War shaped emergent formulations of disabled identity. Professor Franzino's work has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2016, she was named an Irving K. Zola Emerging Scholar in Disability Studies by the Society for Disability Studies.

Chris Fink

Professor of English | B.A., Augustana College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | email | WAC 205-B | office: 363-2681

Chris FinkProfessor Fink specializes in fiction writing and teaches courses in creative writing, literature and journalism. He serves as editor for the Beloit Fiction Journal and coordinates the Mackey Chair in Creative Writing. His book of stories Farmer's Almanac: A Work of Fiction came out in the spring of 2013 from Emergency Press. Since 2000, he has published more than twenty five stories and essays at various journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cream City Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Malahat Review North Dakota Quarterly, Other Voices, The Pinch, South Dakota Review and others.

He was a founding faculty member of the MFA program at San Jose State University, where he taught for five years and edited Reed Magazine. He is a recipient of the 2003 Silicon Valley Artist's Grant, and founder of the John Steinbeck Award for the Short Story.

Shawn Gillen

Professor of English | B.A., St. John's University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota | email | WAC 101 | office: 363-2309

Shawn Gillen

Professor Gillen teaches courses in creative writing, American and Irish Literature, and journalism. Gillen chairs Beloit's program in Media Studies, an interdisciplinary major that he co-founded in 2018.

He has also served as a Visiting Fellow in Digital Humanities at An Foras Feasa: the Institute for Research in Irish Historical and Cultural Traditions at Maynooth University in Ireland, and as a research fellow and visiting professor at the University of Glasgow, He has published personal essays in New Hibernia Review and Colorado Review, and fiction in the North Atlantic Review. Professor Gillen's book chapter, "Captain America, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and the Vietnam Era," appears in Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero (McFarland, 2009). He has also published articles and reviews in Liberal Education, In These Times, Isthmus, City Pages, and the Journal of American Studies.

Professor Gillen has led three Beloit College study abroad trips to Ireland, the most recent in 2016 as part of his work with the Letters of 1916 project. In 2014, he taught creative writing to Beloit students at Eötvös József Collegium in Budapest, Hungary.

A sample of Professor Gillen work titled "The Irish Gambit" (2018) is available for reading.

Tamara Ketabgian

Professor of English | B.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., Princeton | email | WAC 208 | office: 363-2682

Tamara KetabgianProfessor Ketabgian teaches courses on nineteenth-century British literature and culture, critical theory, science fiction, the Enlightenment, the history of technology, and "steampunk" as a cultural movement. She has received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (declined), and has published articles in Victorian Studies, Women's Writing, and various collections. In 2005, the North American Victorian Studies Association awarded her the Donald Gray Prize (honorable mention) for the best essay in Victorian studies. Her book, The Lives of Machines: The Industrial Imaginary in Victorian Literature and Culture (2011) was published by the University of Michigan Press and shortlisted for the annual book prize of the British Society for Literature and Science. Her new research concentrates on natural theology, science fiction, and fantasies of technological design and spiritual intelligence from Charles Babbage to the present.

For a profile of Professor Ketabgian's course on "Victorian Garbage," see the Beloit Magazine. For more information on her book, listen to a recent interview with Wisconsin Public Radio

Charles Lewis

Professor and Chair of English, Director of the Writing Program | B.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota | email | 635 College St. | office: 363-2065

Chuck LewisProfessor Chuck Lewis teaches writing and literature, and he directs Beloit College's writing program and writing center. Most of his published scholarship focuses on the novel, although his teaching interests include interdisciplinary approaches to literature, the relationship between writing and other modes of communication such as photography, and creative writing. His publications include A Coincidence of Wants: The Novel and Neoclassical Economics (Garland, 2000), "Babbled Slander Where the Paler Shades Dwell: Reading Race in The Great Gatsby and Passing" (2007), "Philip Roth's The Plot Against America as 9/11 Prosthesis" (2009), "Map My Ride: Scaling Frank Norris's The Octopus by Bicycle" (2014), and "Photographing the Painted Landscape: Photo-ekphrasis in The Rise of Silas Lapham" (2017). Other articles and his fiction have also appeared in Arizona Quarterly, Salmagundi, Computers and Composition, Dreiser Studies, and Mpls./ St. Paul Magazine. Professor Lewis has also taught at Westminster College in Missouri and the University of Minnesota. His favorite aspect of teaching at Beloit is the rewarding opportunity here to offer and receive something valuable and interesting every day. 

Cynthia McCown

Professor of English & Theatre Arts | B.A., University of North Carolina; Ph.D., Indiana University | email | WAC 107 | office: 363-2030

Cynthia McCownProfessor McCown teaches literary studies, American studies, and world drama. She has published in The Eugene O'Neill Review, on the arts in America 1900-1909 in American Decades (a research encyclopedia), and on pre-depression-era American drama. She is editor of a collection of essays entitled Searching for the Magic Door: Eugene O'Neill, Domesticity and Dispossession, forthcoming from McFarland Press. Her specific interests are in twentieth-century American literature and post-colonial theatre and drama. Professor McCown is also chair of the American studies program at Beloit. 

Nahir Otaño Gracia

Assistant Professor of English | | WAC 1C | office:  608-363-2319

Nahir I. Otaño GraciaProfessor Nahir I. Otaño Gracia (Pronouns: She / Her / Hers) specializes in Medieval literature and culture with a focus on Global Arthurian Studies. Her theoretical frameworks include translation theory and practice, the global North Atlantic, and critical identity studies. She teaches a wide range of courses including courses on Medieval Literature and Culture, Renaissance Literature and Culture, Digital Humanities, and Multiethnic literature. Nahir is also activist medievalist and often tweets about Medieval Studies, inclusivity and diversity, and migrant rights (@Nahir_Otano).

Steven Wright

Adjunct Associate Professor of English | B.A., Miami University; Ph.D., Indiana University | email | MI 103 | office: 363-2385

Steve WrightProfessor Wright teaches academic writing, expository writing, and various courses on the British literary tradition, including Detective Fiction and Sunset on the British Empire. He has published on the work of Chaucer and Chaucer's French contemporaries. Wright has also twice won Beloit College's James S. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. 

Stephanie Schliesmann

Program Coordinator, World Affairs Center & Office of Summer Programs

Stephanie | WAC 205-A | office: 363-2079 

Emeriti Faculty

Diane Lichtenstein

Emerita Professor of English | B.A., Brown University; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Diane LichtensteinProfessor Lichtenstein taught courses on U. S. literature (personal narratives, African-American fiction, Jewish American fiction, nineteenth and twentieth-century novels by women), in Women's and Gender Studies (Introduction to Women's Studies, Queering Narratives), and in interdisciplinary studies (Pursuing Happiness, Crossing Borders). She has published articles on U. S. women writers as well as a book, Writing Their Nations: The Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Jewish Women Writers (Indiana University Press). She has co-edited a special issue of Women's Studies Quarterly devoted to the relationships between women's studies and feminist activism, a cluster of essays for NWSA Journal on women's studies' locations. Lichtenstein also co-edited and co-authored a book with Professors Catherine Orr (Beloit College) and Ann Braithwaite: Rethinking Women's and Gender Studies (Routledge, 2012).

Tom McBride

Emeritus Professor of English | B.A., Baylor University; Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Tom McBrideProfessor McBride taught Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory. He has team-taught a variety of interdisciplinary courses with both classicists and anthropologists. His interests in comparative discourse have most recently led him toan extensive project on Darwinian approaches to the study of literature. He has published both critical essays and creative non-fiction in journals as diverse as Texas Studies in Language and Literature, Two Cities and The Common Review . For four years, he was a popular commentator on language for Wisconsin Public Radio. On campus he is known for the twice-yearly Keefer Lectures on a variety of subjects. Recently he has authored essays for on Raymond Carver and Allan Bloom and at on Saul Bellow and Gore Vidal. He is co-author, with Ron Nief, of a book, The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal, published by Wiley Press in June 2011. 

John Rosenwald

Emeritus Professor of English | B.A., University of Illiniois; Ph.D., Duke University

Professor Rosenwald has offered courses on a wide range of poets: African-American, contemporary Chinese, and Rainer Maria Rilke, as well as an advanced class on poetic technique. During four stays in China, he founded the Beloit/Fudan University Translation Workshop, a leader in providing access to contemporary Chinese poets. An editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal, he has published his own poems in numerous magazines. He has been an active member of Robert Bly's annual conference on the Great Mother and the New Father.

Lisa Haines Wright

Emerita Professor of English | B.A., Ohio State University; Ph.D., Indiana University

Geoffrey ChaucerProfessor Haines Wright taught medieval studies, eighteenth-century studies, the Gothic mode, and narrative in general, as well as critical theory, the history of English, and gender studies. Her work locates Thomas Malory's Arthurian tales in a patriarchal tradition extending from Aristotle's Politics to the works of Freud and contemporary Freudians.  Her special interest is the relation between individual consciousness and the social world as that relation is mediated by language.