As members of a Carnegie-Recognized (R1) Institution, members of the MA faculty produce cutting-edge scholarship in their respective subfields, publishing at venues such as Cambridge UP, University of Michigan Press, Stanford UP, Cornell UP, Ohio State UP, University of Delaware Press, University of Virginia Press, Duke UP, University of Edinburgh Press, NYU Press, Routledge, Palgrave, Bucknell UP and WW Norton.

The faculty has also been awarded a number of international and national prizes and fellowships including the Morton W. Bloomfield Fellowship (Harvard University), a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant (Digital Livingstone Project), a Fulbright Guest Professorship (University of Heidelberg), an Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), and a UC Humanities Research Initiative Fellowship (UC Irvine).

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson
Professor of English

Chris Anderson’s graduate work was in rhetoric and composition, and for twenty years he coordinated the composition program at Oregon State.  He now teaches a range of courses in writing, pedagogy, and literature in translation.  His early focus was the essay.  Since being ordained a Catholic deacon, he has developed a strong interest in the Bible as Literature, Dante, Spiritual Autobiography, and the relationship of religion and literature in general.  What he teaches in all his classes are ways of reading, with an emphasis on personal response, and ways of writing, with an emphasis on alternate forms, particularly freewriting, journals, and collage.  He has written, co-written, or edited fifteen books in a variety of genres and on a variety of subjects, including Free/Style: A Direct Approach to Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest (Iowa, 1993), a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction; and Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University (Baylor, 2004).  He has also published two books of poetry, My Problem with the Truth(Cloudbank, 2003), and The Next Thing Always Belongs (Airlie, 2011).  His latest book is Light When It Comes:  Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything (Eerdmans, 2016), a book of collage essays. Visit his website at www.deaconchrisanderson.com.

Light When It Comes

Richmond Barbour

Richmond Barbour
Professor of English

Richmond Barbour has taught English literature at Oregon State University since 1992. He specializes in Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and culture, theater history, travel writing, cross-cultural relations, and oceanic history. He also teaches Classical Mythology and Classical Drama. His research interests range from Ben Jonson and London’s print culture, to the relations between England’s theatrical and maritime industries in Shakespeare’s day, to the birth of the London East India Company and the emergence of global corporate power. His publications include Before Orientalism. London’s theatre of the East, 1576-1626 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); The Third Voyage Journals: Writing and Performance in the London East India Company, 1607-10 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009); articles in PMLA, Genre, Huntington Library Quarterly, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Criticism, and Clio; and chapters in several edited collections. He has won numerous grants for research at the British Library and the Huntington Library. He is currently completing a scholarly edition of the Journal of Captain John Saris (1611-13), who conducted England’s first ship to Japan, and a monograph on the East India Company’s first generation, The Loss of the “Trades Increase:” An Early Modern Corporate Catastrophe. The latter project won a substantial grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013.

Richmond Barbour

Peter Betjemann

Peter Betjemann
Director, School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Associate Professor of English

Peter Betjemann teaches the literature of the United States from its origins to the present, while specializing as a researcher in the period between 1789 and 1900. His current project, Revolutionary Readers: Early American Narrative Painters and the Radicalization of Literature, argues that the more than 100 extant antebellum paintings of particular literary scenes together constitute a body of highly sophisticated literary criticism. In many cases, the interpretive insights of these works (including, for instance, George Loring Brown’s Leatherstocking Kills the Panther and Robert S. Duncanson’s Uncle Tom and Little Eva) pushed the boundaries of what was meant by “America” and “American literature” in ways that print critics have only recently begun to draw out in the writing of Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Longfellow, Hawthorne, and Stowe. Returning to these often-neglected paintings, and understanding them as a corpus, helps us locate the earliest readings of “American” literature as fundamentally hemispheric; as deeply engaged with multiracial identity; and as founded on an understanding of cultural boundaries as far more fluid than characterization  ns of the “early national” period suggest.

Betjemann’s first book, Talking Shop: The Language of Craft in an Age of Consumption (University of Virginia Press, 2011), originated in his work as a cabinetmaker’s assistant during his years as a student. It studies the lexicons of the “artisanal” – today a familiar way of talking about everything from cheeses and coffee to mass-marketed decorative styles – as they developed in the nineteenth century. Even as his current interests tend towards art history and visual culture, he continues to publish on issues of literature, craft, and design in such journals as Word and Image, American Literary Realism, and The Journal of Design History.

Peter Betjemann

Tekla Bude

Tekla Bude
Assistant Professor

Tekla Bude specializes in medieval literature. Her research focuses on the ways medieval writers were influenced by and influenced the study of music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy -- what medieval scholars would have called the quadrivium and what we might think of as the study of numbers.  Her first book, in progress, investigates forms of "silent" or "metaphysical" music in literature from 1300-1550. Tekla received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. From 2013-2016, she was Kathleen Hughes Junior Research Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she began work on a second project on the conceptualization of mathematical principles in medieval poetry, theology, and devotional texts. Her work has appeared in The Chaucer Review and the Yearbook of Langland Studies.

Neil Davison

Neil Davison
Professor of English

A member of the Department since 1995, Neil Davison teaches courses in British Modernist Literature, works of James Joyce, 19th-and 20th-century Irish literature, Jewish cultural studies, 20th–century poetry, and Holocaust literature and film. In his classroom and scholarship, he focuses on Enlightenment Modernity, constructs of racial, gender, and religious identities, and how modernism informs the aesthetics and politics of nineteenth and twentieth-century texts. His work has also been influenced by Postcolonial theory, Masculinity Studies, and the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. He has a special interest in teaching the works of Joyce, Conrad, Shaw, Crane, Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Auden, Hemingway, Robert Lowell, V.S. Naipaul, Philip Larkin, and the Holocaust writings of Primo Levi, Aharon Appelfeld, and André Schwarz-Bart. He has published on Joyce, George Moore, Flann O’Brien, George du Maurier, W.B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Schwarz-Bart, Philip Roth and others in such journals as Journal of Modern Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, Clio, Literature and Psychology, Jewish Social Studies, and Textual Practice. He has also placed poetry in Ironwood, Small Pond, Cimarron Review, Abraxas, West Branch, and other small-press magazines. His monograph, James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Construction of Jewish Identity: Culture, Biography, and “the Jew” in Modernist Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1996; paper edition 1998), examines Joyce’s career-long interest in European Jewry and 19th-century forms of anti-Semitism. Another monograph, Jewishness and Masculinity from the Modern to the Postmodern was published by the Routledge Studies in 20th-Century Literature series in 2010. He is presently at work on a critical biography of André and Simone Schwarz-Bart that focuses on race and gender in the collaborative expression of their Jewish and Afro-Caribbean identities. 

Neil Davison

Evan Gottlieb

Evan Gottlieb
Professor of English

Evan Gottlieb specializes in British literature of the eighteenth century and Romantic period (1740-1830), as well as literary/ critical theory. He is the author of four books: Romantic Realities: Speculative Realism and British Romanticism (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), Romantic Globalism (Ohio State UP, 2014), Walter Scott and Contemporary Theory (Bloomsbury, 2013), and Feeling British (Bucknell UP, 2007). He has also edited three collections of essays, most recently Global Romanticism (Bucknell UP, 2015), as well as the new Norton Critical Edition of The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett (Norton, 2015). He is currently working on two new book projects: Engagements with Contemporary Literary and Critical Theory (Routledge, forthcoming) and a monograph on the fate of utopian thinking in literature and theory. Gottlieb serves on the editorial boards of Eighteenth-Century Fiction and Studies in the Novel, and has written for the Huffington Post and Public Books.

Romantic Realities

Anita Helle

Anita Helle
Professor of English

Dr. Anita Helle  was the founding Director of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film from 2011-2015.  She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon, where she received the Jane Grant Dissertation Fellowship for the Center for the Study of Women in Society, and served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English 1989-1990.  She has held teaching positions at Lewis & Clark College, Iowa State University, and the University of Oregon.  At OSU since 1991, she has received the Burlington Northern University Teaching Award, the College of Liberal Arts Robert Frank Research and Creativity Award, and the G. Warren Hovland Award for Service.  She directed the CLA Center for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning from 1999-2002.


Dr. Helle's research and teaching interests include 20th/21st century American women writers, transatlantic modernisms, feminist literary and cultural theory, American poetry and confessional writing, literacy and pedagogy, and medical/health humanities,  Her publications include essays in American Literary Scholarship, American Literature, College Composition and Communication, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, and Literature and Medicine. She has published extensively on the writing of Sylvia Plath, including The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath (University of Michigan Press 2007/2008), and in Representing Sylvia Plath (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Anita Helle

Photo of Tim Jensen

Tim Jensen
Assistant Professor of English
Director of Writing

Tim Jensen directs the Writing Program and teaches courses in composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy.  His teaching aims at generating what the Greeks called phronesis—practical wisdom for everyday living—by challenging students to apply personal interests and real exigencies to their work.  He is currently focused on a book that reexamines rhetoric's approach to pathē, the passions of persuasion.  Working with contemporary rhetorical theory, social movement studies and critical affect/emotion studies, the project advances the concept of the common sensorium, an affective and emotional analogue to common sense.  Recent work appears in The Megarhetorics of Global Development, Global Academe: Engaging Intellectual Discourse, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.  Dr. Jensen is also co-creator and currently serves on the editorial board of Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion, a peer-review digital journal dedicated to advancing rhetorical literacy in and outside of the academy.  He hopes to one day grow up on a farm.

Jon Lewis
Distinguished Professor of English and Film

Jon Lewis is a Distinguished Professor of Film Studies and a University Honors College Eminent Professor in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University where he has taught film and cultural studies since 1983. He has published twelve books: The Road to Romance and Ruin: Teen Films and Youth Culture, which won a Choice Magazine Academic Book of the Year Award; Whom God Wishes to Destroy … Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood; The New American Cinema; Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, a New York Times New and Noteworthy paperback; The End of Cinema as We Know It: American Film in the Nineties, American Film: A History, Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History, for the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series, The Godfather; the popular textbook Essential Cinema, The American Film History Reader, Producing (for Rutgers’ University Press’ Silver Screen series), and Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles. He has just completed editing Behind the Silver Screen, a ten book series for Rutgers University Press on the history of selected film occupations (screenwriter, director, actor, producer, cinematographer, art director, sound engineer, animator, editor, and costume designer).

Professor Lewis has appeared in two theatrically released documentaries on film censorship: Inside Deep Throat (Fenton Bailey, 2005) and This Film is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006). Between 2002 and 2007, Professor Lewis was editor of Cinema Journal and had a seat on the Executive Council of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Jon Lewis

Raymond Malewitz

Raymond Malewitz
Associate Professor of English
Director, Master of Arts in English

Raymond Malewitz teaches literature and science, environmental literature, and American literature of the 20th and 21st centuries.  His book, The Practice of Misuse (Stanford UP), examines the ways that real and imagined “maker” communities—environmental advocates, shade-tree engineers, post-apocalyptic survivalists, and so on—express their political and ethical commitments through the repurposing of everyday commodities.  His essays on topics such as climate change literature, animal studies, DNA art, and material culture have been published (or are forthcoming) in journals such as PMLA, Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction StudiesConfigurations, and Callaloo. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in English Literature (2007) and a B.S. in English Literature and Biochemistry from the University of Michigan.

Book Cover - Practice of Misuse

Rebecca Olson

Rebecca Olson
Associate Professor of English

Rebecca Olson, an Oregon native, teaches courses on early modern poetry and drama (c. 1400-1700). Her ongoing research interests include the relationship between literature and the visual arts; early modern textiles and their use in performance spaces; and feminist approaches to the history of the book. She is the author of Arras Hanging: The Textile That Determined Early Modern Literature and Drama (The University of Delaware Press, 2013), which reveals the significance of Renaissance tapestries in the work of Shakespeare, Spenser, and other early modern writers, and is currently overseeing the creation of a student-edited online textbook edition of Romeo and Juliet for Open Oregon State. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in journals including Word & Image, Modern Philology, Pedagogy, and PMLA.

Arras Hanging

Iyun Osagie

Iyun Osagie

Iyun Osagie teaches Black Diaspora Transnational Literatures and Theories, Black Modernisms, African American Writers, Black Playwrights, Performance Studies, African Literature, Third World Feminisms, and Postcolonial Studies. She is the author of African Modernity and the Philosophy of Culture in the Works of Femi Euba (Lexington Books, 2017), The Amistad Revolt: Memory, Slavery, and the Politics of Identity in the US and Sierra Leone (University of Georgia Press, 2000, 2003), and the edited collection Theater in Sierra Leone: Five Popular Plays (Africa World Press, 2009). In addition she has written a play about the Sierra Leone civil war, The Shield. This play has been performed at universities in the US and in Nigeria. Her publications include essays in African American Review, Cultural Studies, Callaloo, Historical Geography, Annals of Tourism Research, and Massachusetts Review.

Iyun Osagie Book

Ehren Pflugfelder
Assistant Professor of English

Ehren (Assistant Professor; Purdue University, 2012) teaches courses in professional/technical writing, science writing, new media studies, and rhetoric and composition. He is the author of Communicating Technology and Mobility: A Material Rhetoric for Transportation (New York: Routledge, 2016), which was named the 2018 CCCC Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication. He has published essays on such subjects as multimedia instruction manuals, big data, transportation technology, and user feedback in journals including College English, Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Kairos, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Communication Design Quarterly, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Transfers, and the collections Posthuman Praxis in Technical Communication, Rhetoric and Experience Architecture, and Thinking with Bruno Latour in Rhetoric and Composition. He is also a Managing Editor for Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society.

Communicating Mobility

Ana Ribero
Assistant Professor

Ana Milena Ribero researches and teaches about migrant rhetorics and feminist critique. Her scholarship and teaching are situated at the intersections of transnational feminisms, migrant rhetorics, border rhetorics, and the rhetorics of social movements. Her current book project complicates citizenship as constituted by the DREAMers—the undocumented young activists who initially mobilized in support of the DREAM Act. This project explores how, through what Ribero terms “DREAMer rhetorics,” migrant activism can reinforce neoliberal narratives about nation, home, and citizenship that contribute to the invisibilization of racialized, gendered, and sexualized subjectivities, even as such rhetorics attempt to challenge anti-migrant discourses, policies, and practices. Her work can be found in Rhetoric Review (forthcoming), Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, Decolonizing Rhetoric and Composition Studies, and in the forthcoming anthology The Routledge Companion to Digital Writing and Rhetoric.  She is a 2017-18 research fellow with OSU’s Center for the Humanities.

Elizabeth Sheehan

Elizabeth Sheehan
Assistant Professor of English

Lily Sheehan’s research and teaching interests are in late-nineteenth and twentieth century American and British literatures and cultures with a focus on modernism. Her work engages visual and material culture, fashion theory, affect studies, critical race studies, and feminist theory. Her forthcoming monograph, Modernism à la Mode: Fashion, Form, and the Ends of Literature (Cornell University Press), brings together texts, images, and clothing to argue that fashion underpins the forms of knowing, feeling, and relating generated by modernist texts. As the epitome of superficial change and a potent material and cultural force, fashion describes the limits and possibilities for modernist aesthetic and political transformation, which continue to shape accounts of the uses of literature and literary criticism.

Sheehan co-edited Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion (University of New Hampshire Press 2011) and has published essays on black internationalism and beauty culture, fashion magazines and periodicity, avant-garde dress design, and writers including Virginia Woolf, Jessie Fauset, and W.E.B. Du Bois in Modern Fiction Studies and the collections Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939; Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshops; and A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. At OSU, Sheehan is an Assistant Professor of English and a core faculty member in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Elizabeth Sheehan

Vicki Tolar Burton

Vicki Tolar Burton
Professor of English
Director, Writing Intensive Curriculum (WIC)

Vicki Tolar Burton does cross-disciplinary research and scholarship in literacy, rhetoric, pedagogy, and writing across the curriculum.  She is particularly interested in historical studies, archival work, and women’s writing and rhetoric.  Her book Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism:  Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe, was published in 2008 by Baylor University Press in their Rhetoric and Religion series.  Her articles and essays have  appeared in College Composition and Communication, College English, Rhetoric Review, and Across the Disciplines, as well as in a number of collections on the history and  theory of rhetoric, including Walking and Talking Feminist Rhetorics: Landmark Essays and Controversies (2010). She teaches courses in the history of rhetoric, the teaching of writing, English grammar, and literature.  In the summer she offers a writing workshop for thesis and dissertation writers across the curriculum.  Since 1993 she has directed OSU’s Writing Intensive Curriculum Program and is currently serving as Transitional Director of Baccalaureate Core Implementation which is updating the university’s general education curriculum.  For more information, see http://wic.oregonstate.edu/director.

Vicki Tolar Burton

Photo of Megan Ward

Megan Ward
Assistant Professor of English

Megan Ward works in the fields of Victorian literature and culture and digital humanities, with interests in realism, narrative theory, material culture, and the history of technology. Her book, Seeming Human: Victorian Realist Character and Artificial Intelligence (Ohio State UP, 2018), argues that the emergence of artificial intelligence in the twentieth century constitutes a theory of fictional character's life-likeness. Using this newly-discovered body of theory, we can re-evaluate the emphasis on interiority that has dominated studies of Victorian realist character to find new modes of seeming human.

Her essays on realism and technology have appeared in journals such Genre, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, and Configurations. She is also Co-Director of Livingstone Online, an NEH-funded digital archive of the Victorian explorer David Livingstone. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University, an M.Phil. from Oxford University, and B.A. from Lawrence University.

Tara Williams

Tara Williams

Associate Professor of English

Tara Williams teaches and works on medieval literature and culture, with a particular focus on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English texts.  Her essays on Chaucer, Margery Kempe, and gender studies have appeared in journals such as Exemplaria, Chaucer Review, Modern Philology, and Studies in the Age of Chaucer.  Her book Inventing Womanhood: Gender and Language in Later Middle English Writing (Ohio State University Press, 2011) examines how ideas about womanhood evolved in the wake of the plague and traces a new set of terms—including womanhood and femininity—that Middle English writers coined to explore those changing ideas.  Her current project considers the connections between magic, spectacle, and morality in fourteenth-century texts (including Sir Orfeo, Lybeaus Desconus, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the Canterbury Tales); related pieces can be found in New Medieval Literatures, Philological Quarterly, and Word & Image.  This work has been supported by internal and external grants, including the Morton W. Bloomfield Fellowship at Harvard University.

Tara Williams

Mila Zuo

Mila Zuo
Assistant Professor of English and Film

Mila Zuo’s research and teaching interests include international art and non-Western cinemas, body studies, race and gender studies, celebrity cultures, and contemporary film theory. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from UCLA. She is currently working on a book about body politics in contemporary Chinese cinemas, proposing that 21st century Chinese identity is an interactive and reactive media phenomenon imagined through screen performances of sex, health, and beauty. Her essays have been published in Journal of Chinese Cinemas and Celebrity Studies Journal. Zuo has forthcoming chapters appearing in Asian cinema anthologies on the topics of “beauty capital” and Chinese film star Fan Bingbing, and resistant femininities in East Asian women’s cinema. As a visual mediamaker, her video work has been reviewed in popular digital publications and she recently completed a short narrative film titled Carnal Orient.