Skip to main content

Meet the Faculty in the Department of Literary Arts

The full-time and part-time faculty members in the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice have extensive expertise in a wide range of disciplines including American and British literature, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, linguistics, women's studies, composition, public speaking and more. Learn about their wealth of knowledge, research interests and classes they teach, featured below.

Full-Time Faculty

Pictured is Sarah Perrier, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Literary Arts and associate professor of English. | Photo submitted by Perrier Sarah Perrier, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice

  • Author of two collections of poetry, Nothing Fatal and Just One of Those Things
  • Research interests include creative writing, contemporary American poetry, poetics and contemporary fiction
  • Recent course offerings include poetry workshops, 21st Century Poets and Major Authors: Sylvia Plath

Pictured is Barbara Barrow, Ph.D., assistant professor of British Literature. | Photo by Jim Judkis Barbara Barrow, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Coordinator, Literature Program

  • Book author of The Quelling, short fiction and journal articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, The Forge Literary Magazine, Folio,Victorian Poetry, Journal of Victorian Culture, Victorian Periodicals Review and Nineteenth-Century Contexts
  • Research interests include Victorian literature and culture, literature and science, women and gender and poetry and politics
  • Teaches British literature, world literature, literary criticism, college composition and The English Novel

Pictured is Karen Dwyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. | Photo by Chris Rolinson Karen Dwyer, Ph.D.

Coordinator, Creative Writing Program

  • Published works include "Ancient Texts" in Red Orchard Review, "The Smoker" in Triquarterly Review and "If and Then" in Zoetrope: One Story
  • Research interests are the contemporary short story and hysterical realism and the surreal in the contemporary novel
  • Teaches courses in fiction writing, creative nonfiction, contemporary literature, world literature, American literature and the short story

Pictured is Chris Girman, Ph.D., assistant professor of literary arts at Point Park University. | Photo by John AltdorferChris Girman, Ph.D., J.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Published the books The Chili Papers and Mucho Macho: Seduction, Desire, and the Homoerotic Lives of Latin Men
  • Research interests include theories of nonfiction, magical realism and masculinity theory
  • Teaches creative writing and creative nonfiction classes as well as beginner and advanced nonfiction workshops

Pictured is Kirstin Hanley, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric and director of the University's writing program. | Photo by Jim JudkisKirstin Hanley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor 
Director, Composition Program

  • Published pieces include Mary Wollstonecraft, Pedagogy and the Practice of Feminism, "Didacticism" and "'A New Servitude': Pedagogy and Feminist Practice in Brontë's Jane Eyre"
  • Research interests involve the intersections between proto-feminist literatures and composition studies
  • Teaches English Composition I & II, writing studio, senior seminar, college composition, romanticism and effective speech

Pictured is J. Dwight Hines, Ph.D.J. Dwight Hines, Ph.D.


  • Seeks to share with students an appreciation of the character of global political-economy and the relevance of it to their lives
  • Research focuses on the process of rural gentrification — i.e. the colonization of the rural United States by ex-urban members of the post-industrial middle-class (PIMC) — and its role in the creation of the so-called "New" American West.
  • Teaches Introduction to Global Cultural Studies, Modern World Systems, Modernity, Colonialism and Capitalism, Global Political Ecology and Soccer/Football in Global Perspective.

Pictured is Jessica McCort, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric. | Photo by John AltdorferJessica McCort, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

  • Published pieces include Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children's Literature and Culture, "Breaking the Glass Slipper" and "Edward Gorey: The Humour in Children's Horror"
  • Research interests are gothic and horror in children's and young adult literature and culture, fairy tales and fairy-tale revisions, Sylvia Plath and girls' cultures and girls' reading practices
  • Teaches College Composition and Honors College Composition

Pictured is Robert Ross, Ph.D.Robert Ross, Ph.D.

Coordinator, Social Justice Studies Program

  • Teaching and research interests center on the geographies of capitalism
  • Areas of specialty include the Middle East and North America
  • Teaches Marx and Marxism, Political Geography of the Middle East, Revolutions, Introduction to Global Cultural Studies, Sociological Foundations, Sociology of Marriage and Family and World Geography

Emeriti Faculty

Robert Alexander, Ph.D.
Amy Kim Bell, M.A.
Robert Lewis, Ph.D.
P.K. Weston, Ed.D.

Part-Time Faculty

Jessica Benigni Bowers
Pat Boyle
Guiliana Patricia Certo
Marilyn Davidson
Matthew Fazio
Mary Marshall Highet
Catherine Houghton
Paul Houghton
Jeaneen K. Kish
Jonathan Manning
Abby Mendelson
Bridgette Nofsinger
Sandra Pyle
James Rosenberg
Fred Shaw
Jill Walter
Kellie D. Weiss-Strasburg


Kristene Julian, assistant to the chair
Office Phone: 412-392-8068
Office: 706 Lawrence Hall