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Master of Arts English Faculty



Sarah J. Arroyo is an Associate Professor of English. She received her BS in Education at New Mexico State University, her MA in English at CSULB, and her PhD in Rhetoric at The University of Texas at Arlington. Professor Arroyo teaches graduate and undergraduate courses ranging from Theories and Practices of Composition to Critical Theory to Digital Rhetoric and Video/Participatory Cultures. She also co-directs CSULB’s First-Year Composition Program and mentors Lecturers and Graduate Teaching Associates who teach in the program. Her areas of interest include: histories and theories of rhetoric, visual rhetoric, digital rhetoric, video and participatory cultures, composition theories and pedagogies, and post-secondary teacher education. Her research explores the intersections of rhetoric, writing, electracy, and video/participatory cultures, and offers both theories and practices that operate as alternatives to traditional, literate-only conceptions of writing. She is interested in the implications arising from the convergence of identity building, community building, teaching, and learning taking place in and through participatory and networked cultures. Professor Arroyo has published articles in JAC, Composition Forum, and Kairos, and her book, published in 2013 by Southern Illinois University Press, is entitled Participatory Composition: Video Culture, Writing, and Electracy.
Elyse Blankley
BA Douglass College, Rutgers UniversityMA, PhD University of California, Davis
British and American Modernism; Feminist, Queer, and Gender Theory; Post-colonial Theory; Literature by Women

Professor Susan Carlile teaches eighteenth-century British literature, the survey of British literature before 1800, and Adolescent Literature. A former English language teacher in Madrid, Spain and high school teacher and teacher trainer in Phoenix, AZ, she earned her BA at Taylor University and her MA and PhD at Arizona State University. Her interests include: representations of identity, biography writing, 18th-century women’s writing in England and Spain, and constructions of history. Her books include Masters of the Marketplace: British Women Novelists of the 1750s (ed.) (Lehigh, 2010), and Charlotte Lennox’s 1758 novel Henrietta (ed. with Ruth Perry, Kentucky, 2008). She has written on numerous authors, including, Isabel Allende, Frances Burney, Sandra Cisneros, Sarah Fielding, Francisco Jimenez, Samuel Johnson, Charlotte Lennox, Delarivier Manley, and Sarah Scott. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Eighteenth-Century Novel, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, Yale University Library Gazette, The ALAN Review, and The Journal for Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Her critical biography of Charlotte Lennox will be published by Toronto University Press in 2015.
Dr. Caron is a graduate of Louisiana College (BA) and Louisiana State University (MA and PhD). Since joining the CSULB faculty in 1998, he has taught a wide variety of classes in different periods of American literature and on a range of American authors, including Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner. In addition to courses within the English department, Dr. Caron also teaches UNIV 300I, a service learning course focused on Hurricane Katrina in which the entire class travels to Louisiana to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. His exploration of race and religion in writers from the American South, Struggles Over the Word, was published by Mercer University Press, and other scholarly work has appeared in journal such as Studies in American Fiction, The Southern Quarterly, and The Flannery O’Connor Review and in edited volumes, such as Blackwell’s Companion to William Faulkner and Comics and the American South.

Stephen Cooper received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine, and his PhD from the University of Southern California. In addition to scholarly articles in literary magazines and film journals, he has published short stories in such periodicals as Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, American Fiction, and Hot Type. Among his honors are an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction and CSULB’s Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Award. He is the editor of Perspectives on John Huston and the author of Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante. He discovered and edited the manuscript of John Fante’s last book, The Big Hunger: Stories 1932-1959, and is also a co-editor of John Fante: A Critical Gathering. His biography of Fante and his edition of The John Fante Reader were named among the Los Angeles Times Best Books of the Year.
Professor Emeritus Brian Finney gained his BA in English and Philosophy from Reading University, England, and his PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London. He taught at London University from 1964-1987, and since emigrating to the US at UCR, UCLA, USC and CSULB. He has published book-length studies of Beckett’s fiction, D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, twentieth century literary autobiography as a genre and a biography of Christopher Isherwood, and has edited three books of Lawrence short stories. He published English Fiction since 1984 in 2006, Martin Amis (Routledge Guide to Literature) in 2008, and Terrorized: The Effects of the War on Terror on American Culture and Society (Amazon Kindle) in 2010. He was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the best biography of 1979. He teaches courses mainly in twentieth century literature, drama, and literary theory. He lives in Venice and teaches full time in the spring semesters only, where he plays tennis, runs, and walks his dog. For his full vita, current syllabi, and recent essays look up his webpage at:
Assistant Professor Paul Gilmore is a graduate of the University of Mississippi (BA, 1991) and the University of Chicago (PhD, 1997). He teaches a range of subjects in American literature, but he specializes in American literature and culture of what might be called the long-nineteenth century;1776 to 1918. His first book, The Genuine Article: Race, Mass Culture, and American Literary Manhood (Duke UP, 2001), examines concepts of masculinity as deployed by antebellum American authors through their evocation of racialized figures from mass cultural forms such as popular museums, minstrel shows, and daguerreotypal parlors. His current research argues that a strain of American romanticism constructed a materialist aesthetic through its use of discourses surrounding telegraphy. His work on writers such as Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and Hugh Henry Brackenridge has appeared in a variety of academic journals, most recently American Literature, Modern Language Quarterly, Early American Literature, and ELH. He lives in Silver Lake with his wife, Reid, his daughter, Charlotte, and his beagle, Lily.
Lisa Glatt recieved an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of the novel A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and the short story collection The Apple’s Bruise, both published by Simon & Schuster. Her poetry collections include Shelter and Monsters & Other Lovers. Lisa’s work has appeared in such magazines as Zoetrope, Mississippi Review, Columbia, Indiana Review, Pearl, and The Sun. She was recently awarded a fellowship to the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy.
Winner of the 2003 Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, Suzanne Greenberg is the author of Speed-Walk and Other Stories, published November, 2003. She is also the co-author of Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, which is now in its second edition. Her fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous publications, including the Mississippi Review, West Branch, and The Washington Post Magazine. Recipient of Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, she received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland.
Gary Griswold’s area of specialty is composition studies, and since 1989 he has taught all levels of writing courses at CSULB, including technical and professional writing, proposal writing, and professional editing. In 1992, he founded the Writer’s Resource Lab, the English Department/College of Liberal Arts’ writing center program, which he directed for 20 years. Dr. Griswold earned his Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in May of 2003. His dissertation, Writing Centers and Their Directors: Issues and Prospects for a New Era, focused on the history and current status of writing center programs in American colleges and universities. Dr. Griswold’s other research interests include the use of technology in the teaching of writing, the history of composition studies, and technical and professional writing.
Professor George Hart received his BA from Kent State University and his PhD from Stanford University; he teaches 19th- and 20th-century American literature, with a specialization in 20th-century American poetry and poetics. His other research interests include ecocriticism, postmodernist poetics, and the Beats. Professor Hart’s most recent publication is Inventing the Language to Tell It: Robinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness (Fordham University Press, 2013). His publications also include articles on Larry Eigner, Kenneth Rexroth, Ronald Johnson, and William Carlos Williams. He co-edited, with Scott Slovic, Exploring Social Issues through Literature: Literature and the Environment (Greenwood Press, 2004).
Neil Hultgren is Associate Professor of English. He received his BA in English and French from Augustana College (IL) and his MA and PhD in English Language and Literature from University of Virginia. During 2010-11 he held an Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles. He teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture, the British novel, modern British drama, and Oscar Wilde. His research interests include British literature and imperialism, postcolonial studies, the Victorian fin de siècle, and Victorian taxidermy. He has published articles and book chapters on Wilkie Collins, H. Rider Haggard, and Oscar Wilde. His book project, “Melodramatic Imperial Writing from the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes,” is forthcoming in 2014 from Ohio University Press.
Lloyd Edward Kermode is Professor of English with a specialization in Renaissance Studies. BA (English Literature, U. of Sheffield and U. of Maryland), MPhil (English Literature, The Shakespeare Institute), MA (Creative Writing, The Johns Hopkins U.), PhD (English, Rice U.). Dr. Kermode taught at Ithaca College in New York State for two years before coming to CSULB in 2000. He is co-director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and an advisor for the Certificate and Minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Dr. Kermode’s research is in early modern drama, sixteenth-century national and ethnic identity in England, British Renaissance cultural studies, and theories of space and consciousness. He teaches courses in medieval and early modern literature, poetry, and literary criticism and theory. His books include Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama (Cambridge, 2009); Three Renaissance Usury Plays (Manchester, 2009); and Tudor Drama before Shakespeare (ed.) (Palgrave, 2004). In a parallel universe, Dr. Kermode plays rock and blues guitar and writes and records music.
MA, California State University, Northridge; PhD, University of California, IrvineU.S. Ethnic Literatures; Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature; U.S. Protest and Proletarian Literatures; Marxism; Critical Race Theories
Bill Mohr received his PhD in Literature from the University of California, San Diego. His critical and creative work has appeared in dozens of magazines, including the Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, Chicago Review, Santa Monica Review, Sonora Review, William Carlos Williams Review and ZYZZYVA. As editor of Momentum Press from 1974-1988, he received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and published two major anthologies of Southern California poets. His book and audio recording collections include “Hidden Proofs,” “Thoughtful Outlaw,” “Vehemence,” and a chapbook, “Bittersweet Kaleidoscope,” from If Editions. He has taught at St. John’s University and Rutgers University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Welcome to CSULB! I hope to meet you in one of my classes: I teach our introduction to the graduate program—the seminar on literary criticism and research (696), the seminar on eighteenth-century British literature (655), and major authors classes on Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien (681). I also occasionally team-teach (with Tim Keirn from History) a class on Anglo-Indian relations in the long eighteenth century that culminates in a three-week trip to India in the January session. I approach most of my work from the perspective of book history—one of the most recent developments in literary theory—which looks at literature in its material contexts, i.e., the writing, production, dissemination, and reception of books, while it also examines the aesthetic value of literature. My recent publications include Charlotte Lennox: Correspondence (Bucknell 2012) and British Encounters with India, 1750-1830 (with Tim Keirn, Palgrave 2011), and I am currently finishing a non-academic introduction to the city of Berlin (Signal 2013). I studied, and I have taught, in Germany (Berlin), England (Manchester and Winchester), India (Delhi), and of course the US (I received my Ph.D. from Duke University). Outside the office and classroom, I watch too much TV, run the occasional half-marathon, and travel as much as possible.
Patty Seyburn has published two books of poems: Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998), which won the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award for 2000. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Paris Review, Poetry, New England Review, Field, Slate, Pleiades, Bellingham Review, Crazyhorse, Seneca Review, Passages North and Third Coast, and in the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2005). She grew up in Detroit. She earned degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine, and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. She is co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry, based in Los Angeles.
Associate professor Nancy Strow Sheley joined the CSULB faculty in 2001. She received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Kansas and her MA in English from the University of Illinois. Sheley holds a joint appointment in the English and Liberal Studies Departments, is an affiliated faculty member in the American Studies Program, and is currently an assistant chair of English. With special emphases in 19th and 20th-century American literature and ethnic writers, Sheley’s specific area of interest is women novelists. One research project explores the use of the 19 th-century Language of Flowers as a subtext in literature and as a cultural phenomenon which reflects imperialistic and racist attitudes of the dominant class. Additionally, Sheley’s dissertation and current research investigates the life and works of American artist Agnes Pelton (1881-1961), providing a cultural and historical context for the study of other early modernists in art and literature. For Liberal Studies, Sheley teaches courses in literacy and issues in education. In 2004, Sheley spent six weeks in Rwanda with a Fulbright-Hays project to study the country’s education system post-Genocide. In January 2008, Sheley will be a Fulbright Scholar for six months in Cyprus, teaching American Studies courses at two universities, the University of Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean University.See:
Martine van Elk is a Professor, with MAs from the University of Amsterdam and Rice University and a PhD from Rice University. Her MA thesis was on contemporary Irish drama, and her PhD focused on Shakespeare, constructions of femininity, and identification. She teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, Milton, English drama, and Irish literature. Her current research interests are in Shakespearean and other drama, 17th century Dutch and English women writers, prose pamphlets, and romance and genre. She is co-editor of Tudor Drama Before Shakespeare (published by Palgrave, 2004) and has published numerous essays on Shakespeare, vagrancy, and early modern women. At CSULB, she co-directs the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Professor Dianne Vipond earned a B.Sc. from McGill University (Montreal), an M.A. from Concordia University (Montreal), and a Ph.D. from York University (Toronto). Her area of specialization is twentieth-century British and American literature. She has taught at both the secondary and university levels in Canada and the United States and enjoys working with students pursuing a teaching credential in English at CSULB. She often supervises student teachers and regularly teaches literature for adolescents, British literature surveys, senior seminars on John Fowles and Lawrence Durrell and on metafiction, and a graduate course on Fowles. While she has written about a variety of subjects including  the work of Margaret Atwood, Woody Allen, and adolescent literacy, her primary research focus is the fiction of John Fowles and Lawrence Durrell. She is editor of Conversations with John Fowles, co-editor (with Ronald J. Strahl) of Literacy, Language, and Power, and co-editor of a special John Fowles number of Twentieth Century Literature (with James R. Baker). Her most recently published articles explore Durrell’s five-volume novel sequence The Avignon Quintet as quintessentially postmodern fiction and as a significant World War II novel. She is a member of the editorial board of Deus Loci: The Lawrence Durrell Journal.
Charles Harper Webb received his MFA in Professional Writing and his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California. He has ten books of poetry, including Reading the Water, Liver, Tulip Farms & Leper Colonies, Hot Popsicles, Amplified Dog, Shadow Ball: New and Selected Poems, and his most recent, What Things Are Made Of, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2013. Webb’s awards in poetry include the Morse Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Felix Pollock Prize, and the Benjamin Saltman Prize. His poems have appeared in many distinguished journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Tin House, Slate, Poets of the New Century, Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize. A former professional rock musician and psychotherapist, he is the editor of Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, and recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim foundation.
Frederick Wegener, professor, received a BA from Columbia University and an MA and PhD from Harvard University. He joined CSULB in 1998, having served previously on the faculty of Boston University, Brandeis University, and Fordham University. His publications include Edith Wharton: The Uncollected Critical Writings (Princeton University Press, 1996, 1999) and the Penguin Classics edition of Sarah Orne Jewett’s 1884 novel A Country Doctor. His essays on Wharton, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins gilman, Charles W. Chesnutt, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others have appeared in American Literature, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Criticism, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, among other journals as well as edited collections. He was an M. Louise Gloeckner, MD, Summer Research Fellow at the Archives and Special Collections on Women in Medicine, at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and a 2002-03 Resident Research Fellow at the Francis C. Wood institute for the History of Medicine at College of Physicians of Philadelphia. More recently, he was awarded a publication grant from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, in support of his ongoing work on a study of imaginative representations of women doctors in the United States from 1860 to 1920. His teaching interests are focused principally on post-Civil-War U.S. literatures; nineteenth-and twentieth-century American fiction; ethnic American writing; forms of narrative; and critical theory. Past director of CSULB’s Program in American Studies, he is also currently a member of the program’s Advisory Board.
Mark T. Williams is an associate professor who teaches courses in rhetoric, composition, and literacy and who serves as Composition Program coordinator. A former journalist in Mexico and Texas who taught science and ESL in middle/high school, Williams earned a BS at Utah State University, an MA at the University of Texas-El Paso, and a PhD at the University of Arizona. He has published in Rhetoric Review, College Composition and Communication, and The Journal of Basic Writing as well as co-authored book chapters on rhetorical history and basic writing.
Rafael Joseph Zepeda, Professor of English, has published numerous books, among them, the novel Desperados, Tao Driver and Selected Poems, Horse Medicine and Other Stories, The Witchita Poems, The Durango Poems, The Yellow Ford of Texas, along with several other books of poetry and fiction.  Among his awards are a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in Fiction, a California Artists Grant in fiction, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.  His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and have been translated into Spanish and French. Along with being a writer of fiction and poetry, he is an artist and a photographer.
Professor Zitzer-Comfort is an Assistant Professor of English. She received her BA from CSU Fullerton, her MA from Cal Poly Pomona and her PhD from Claremont Graduate University. Her areas of interest include: Reading and Composition, Cognitive Development, American Indian Literature, Disability Studies and English Education. She has published several articles and a book chapter on Williams syndrome, authored a textbook for basic writing courses, co-edited an anthology of American Indian Women’s writings and presented at several national and international conferences. Carol serves on the Advisory Board for the SALK Institute Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, on the Board of Directors of the Williams Syndrome Association and on several CSULB department, college and university committees. Before coming to CSULB in 2005, Dr. Zitzer-Comfort taught and directed a Student Support Services program at Cal Poly Pomona for ten years.