Department of English

Our faculty is diverse and offers a wide range of approaches to literature, language and culture. In addition to having expertise in traditional and contemporary forms of literature across a range of historical periods and theoretical perspectives, faculty in the English department specialize in a variety of fields of study: American Studies, African-American Studies, British Studies, Cultural Studies, Global Studies, Journalism, Postcolonial Studies, and Women's Studies. Our faculty concentrates on excellence in teaching and personal concern for our students. Department faculty have achieved many honors, including Chancellor's Awards for Excellence, President's Award for Excellence, and Distinguished Teaching rank.

Professors in the English Department typically have an open-door policy and welcome students even beyond normal office hours for extra assistance. In addition to teaching, our faculty is active in research and in publishing their research findings in well-respected scholarly journals, anthologies, and books. Faculty members also present scholarly papers at national and international conferences annually; others read their creative work at prestigious state, national, and international venues.


 Betty Barnard

Betty Barnard, Lecturer

SUNY Fredonia, M.S. in Education

Office: Fenton 2139
Phone: 716 673-3127

Kristina Benson

Kristina Benson, Lecturer
Goddard College, M.A.
Teaching Areas: College Composition, Novels and Tales
Office: Fenton 247

Diane Bohn

Diane Bohn, Secretary

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Poummit Secretarial Award for outstanding service, attitude, creativity, and resourcefulness

Office: Fenton 277
Phone: 716 673-3125


Kenton Brown, Lecturer

SUNY Fredonia, M.A.

Office: Fenton 251
Phone: 716 673-3863



Terry Brown, Professor / Provost

University of Florida, Ph.D.

Office: Maytum 801
Phone: 716 673-3335



KimMarie Cole, Associate Professor / Coordinator for English as a Second Language / Composition Coordinator

University of Wisconsin, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 268
Phone: 716 673-3857

My recent research studies how learning communities that are constructed in and through classroom talk.  This research draws from the areas of sociolinguistics, educational linguistics, discourse analysis and second language acquisition.

Tom Craig, Lecturer

SUNY Fredonia, M.A.

Office: Fenton 250
Phone: 716 673-3845


Anne Fearman, Lecturer

SUNY Fredonia, M.A.

Office: Fenton 242a
Phone: 716 673-4721

Natalie Gerber

Natalie Gerber, Associate Professor

University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 276
Phone: 716 673-3855

Natalie Gerber’s research and teaching focus upon 20th-century literature, the English language, poetry and poetics, especially the expressive use of language. She is the author of the book chapter “Getting the Squiggly Tunes Down on the Page: Williams’ Triadic-Line Verse and American Intonation” in Rigor of Beauty: Essays in Commemoration of William Carlos Williams and has published articles on the relationship between the structure of the English language and the style of 20th-century poets in journals such as The William Carlos Williams Review and The Wallace Stevens Journal. Dr. Gerber earned her Ph.D. in English from UC Berkeley. She has also helped support national and local poetry endeavors, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festivals and Robert Hass’s tenure as U.S. poet laureate.
Sarah Gerkensmeyer

Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Visiting Assistant Professor

Cornell University, M.F.A

Office: Fenton 241
Phone: 716 673-3861

I write short stories and am working on a novel.  My stories have appeared (or will soon appear) in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Cream City Review, Sonora Review, North Dakota Quarterly, The Nebraska Review, and elsewhere.  During the summer of 2007, I was a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.  At SUNY Fredonia, I teach creative writing, freshman composition, and introductory literature courses.


John Glovack, Lecturer

University at Buffalo, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 246
Phone: 716 673-4714

Virginia Horvath

Virginia Horvath, Professor / President, SUNY Fredonia

Kent State University, Ph.D.

Office: President's Office, Fenton 138
Phone: 716 673-3456


Jeffry Iovannone, Lecturer

SUNY Buffalo, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 258
Phone: 716 673-3851



Christina Jarvis, Professor

Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D.
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007

Office: Fenton 235
Phone: 716 673-3430

 My research and teaching interests include 20th-Century American literature, gender studies, war and popular culture, American Studies, contemporary sustainability issues, feminist theory and family studies. While my past publications have focused on intersections between war, gender, and embodiment, my current book project investigates post-1970 cultural representations of and dialogues about fatherhood in the United States. I am also working to translate new research on food, the environment, and American consumer culture into various forms of civic engagement and campus activism. At the graduate level, I have taught seminars on American Modernisms, War and Gender, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the American Family, and Cold War American Literature.


Doug Johnston, Lecturer

SUNY Buffalo, Ed. M.

Office: Fenton 246
Phone: 716 673-4714


Scott Johnston, Associate Professor

University of Nevada, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 263
Phone: 716 673-3588

  David Kaplin

David Kaplin, Assistant Professor

Indiana University, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 232
Phone: 716 673-3852

On rainy afternoons, you can find me reading the novels I most enjoy - by Dickens, Gaskell, Trollope, Thackeray, and Eliot - aloud to myself in a fake British accent. At other times, I'm usually teaching courses in British literature from the Romantic and Victorian periods, comparative and world literature, mystery and detective fiction, and law and literature. My current research centers around lying and its role in national identity formation in nineteenth-century Britain and France. I have also written about the relationship between changing prescriptions for Victorian manliness and the unmanly characters in Trollope's novels; the significance behind first impressions in Dickens's Dombey and Son; and the semiotics of Italo Calvino's hybrid language of tarot cards in The Castle of Crossed Destinies. Every day, I wake up to the realization that I am no longer practicing law, and the resulting smile lasts all day long.


John Kijinski, Professor / Dean for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D.

Office: Maytum 806
Phone: 716 673-3174


Daniel Laurie, Lecturer

SUNY Fredonia M.A.

Office: Fenton 268
Phone: 673-3857

Saundra Liggins, Associate Professor

University of California, San Diego, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 264
Phone: 716 673-3858

My research/teaching interests are in women's literature, African American literature and culture, and gothic literature.


  Adrienne McCormick, Professor / Interim Associate Provost for Curriculum, Assessment and Academic Support

University of Maryland, Ph.D.
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Office: Maytum 810
Phone: 716 673-4708

My teaching and research interests include issues surrounding American poetry, women writers, women and film, feminist performance, and women’s studies generally. My most recent article is on history, memory, and representations of the maternal in Jamaican American poet Shara McCallum's work. I have published on contemporary Asian American poetry anthologies and on poets such as Cathy Song, David Mura, Marilyn Chin, and Lucille Clifton. This research relates to my long-term interest in the relationship between poetry, theory and identity politics in contemporary American poets in general.  My broader research interests include multiethnic American fiction and drama as well.

Heather McEntarfer, Assistant Professor

University at Buffalo, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh, M.F.A

Office: Fenton 258
Phone: 716 673-3851

My research interests focus largely on gender and sexuality in education, particularly teacher education. I am also interested in teaching about diversity more broadly, in the ways narrative writing and reading can be a part of that instruction, and in the transition between high school and college writing for working-class college students.

Susan McGee

Susan McGee, Lecturer

SUNY at Binghamton, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 247
Phone: 716 673-4716

Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae,  Associate Professor / Director of American Studies

University of Washington, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 257
Phone 716 673-3848

The research areas I trained in are transatlantic Modernism, medieval Irish literature and culture, virtual communities, and gender theory from a mainly psychoanalytic perspective. I love teaching about the spiritual and mythological undercurrents of world literatures, the relationship between literature and history, and non-literary texts, especially film. My current book project is about early twentieth-century small town American tourist attractions as expressions of spiritual desire--because it is an interesting topic, and it's a way of justifying my passion for road trips. I take a lot of road trips, on my motorcycle and in my big blue camper van named Vera Cruise.

Jeanette McVicker

Jeanette McVicker, Professor / Advanced Program Coordinator for the English Graduate Program

SUNY at Binghamton, Ph.D.
President's Award for Excellence, 2008
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2013

Office: Fenton 241
Phone: 716 673-3861

My current research interests include 1) exploring the impact of US news coverage on subjectivity, citizenship and democracy both in the US and abroad, particularly since 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’ 2) the corporatization of the university in the US and its impact on curricular innovation, pedagogy, scholarship, and governance.  Ongoing interests include engagement with the work of Virginia Woolf and modernist studies generally, as well as women's studies generally; contemporary critical and cultural theory and media studies, culture and politics during the 1960s; issues pertaining to the news media and the First Amendment.

Kathryn Moore 

Kathryn Moore, Lecturer

Buffalo State University, M.A.

Office: Fenton 250
Phone: 716 673-3845


Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Professor

Ohio State University, M.F.A.
Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award, 2004
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, 2006

Office: Fenton 236
Phone: 716 673-3450

My research interests include: poetry and creative non-fiction, environmental literature, eco-criticism, mythology, and Asian-American literatures. As a writer and teacher of creative writing, I'm particularly drawn to voices that have an entwined relationship to landscape and supposition.
Dustin Parsons

Dustin Parsons, Assistant Professor

Bowling Green State University, M.F.A.;
Kansas State University, M.A.

Office: Fenton 255
Phone: 716 673-3854

My research interests include the role of place in fiction and nonfiction.  My work reflects this interest as well as an interest in lyric prose and its role in storytelling.  Included in my teaching interests are contemporary American short fiction, American Studies, poetry, and the novel.


Rebecca Schwab, Lecturer

West Virginia University, M.F.A.

Office: Fenton 248
Phone: 716 673-3789

Rebecca teaches Introduction to Creative Writing.

Ann Siegle Drege, Associate Professor/Chair

University of North Dakota, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 279
Phone: 716 673-3125

My interests include Drama in the classroom, Active pedagogy, Modern and Contemporary Dramatic Literature, Issues in English Education, Dramatic comedy.

Bruce Simon

Bruce Simon, Associate Professor

Princeton University, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 265
Phone: 716 673-3856

My research and teaching interests span the range of U.S. literatures and their intersections with American studies, black studies, critical race/ethnicity studies, and postcolonial studies.  Although my primary research focus is on pre-Civil War America, I'm also interested in the history and governance of higher education, the nature of academic and intellectual work, the structure and status of the profession, and the conditions of teaching and learning.  For more about me, please see my website and my academic blog, Citizen of Somewhere Else.

Susan Spangler, Associate Professor / Coordinator for English Adolescence Education

Illinois State University, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 266
Phone: 716 673-3862

My ongoing research interests focus on regression under stress in student teachers and issues in composition and rhetoric, particularly writing assessment.  My pedagogical interests include contact zones, small group instructional diagnosis, and teaching for social justice.  To view information on my current courses and my teaching portfolio, click on my name and you’ll be directed to my website.

Theodore L. Steinberg, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor

University of Illinois, Ph.D.
SUNY Chancellor's Research Award, 2005
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1996
President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1987

Office: Fenton 275
Phone: 716 673-3529

My research interests are medieval and Renaissance literatures and Judaica.  My teaching interests are universal, but of course you can’t say that.  So my teaching interests are making early literatures come alive for students and showing students how these literatures are relevant to their lives.

Emily VanDette, Associate Professor / Associate Chair

Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 279
Phone: 716 673-3125

My primary area is 19th-century American literature, and my research focuses especially on the recovery of women's literature.  My first book, Sibling Romance in American Fiction, 1835-1900, examines the trope of brother-sister attachment in a range of 19th-century American novels. I have begun to work on a new project that focuses on the role of the antebellum "Scribbling Women" in American literary history.  I mostly teach American literature classes, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, including Realism and Naturalism in American Literature, American Literary Landmarks, and "Scribbling Women": 19th-century American Women Writers. I also enjoy teaching the undergraduate capstone course, Senior Seminar.
Birger Vanwesenbeeck

Birger Vanwesenbeeck, Associate Professor / Graduate Coordinator

University at Buffalo, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 237
Phone: 716 673-3847

My primary teaching and research interests lie in twentieth-century American literature and culture, Critical Theory, and World Literature. I am the co-editor of William Gaddis: ‘The Last of Something’ and I have published scholarly articles on Gaddis and Thomas Pynchon. My current research is a comparative project that focuses on the connections between ekphrasis (the vivid description of a work of art in literature), and the process of mourning from antiquity to the present.


Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, Associate Professor

University at Buffalo, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 240
Phone: 716 673-3850

Renaissance literature and Middle Eastern literature.

Lan Wang, Visiting Assistant Professor

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.

Office: Fenton 239
Phone: 716-673-3128

I have approximately 15 years of teaching experience in both ESL and EFL settings. My research interests include L2 writing, writing center theory and practice, SLA, L2 tutoring, TESOL methodology, and intercultural communication. My cross-cultural learning, teaching, even living experiences enable me to work with international students effectively. I enjoy experiencing different cultures, traveling, photography, and painting.

Melinda Wendell

Melinda Wendell, Visiting Assistant Professor

SUNY Fredonia, M.A.

Office: Fenton 254
Phone: 716 673-3844

I teach and develop courses for early childhood and childhood education majors.  My goal is to nurture a love of reading and writing in my students that they will pass along to their students when they have classrooms of their own.  My teaching and research areas include Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Children's Literature, Early Adolescent Literature, and Poetry Workshops for grades K-6. 

Page modified 4/4/14