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LITERATURE FACULTY


Meredith Abarca
Meredith Abarca
PhD, University of California at Davis

Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 307
Phone: 915-747-6248 




I received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Davis. I teach Chicana/o Literature, Mexican-American Folklore, Major American Authors, Literature of the Americas, and Literary Studies. I also teach graduate courses that examine the intersection of literature and globalism, cosmopolitanism, and food as cultural and theoretical discourses.

I am the author of Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women (Texas A&M Press, 2006). My work has appeared in Food & Foodways and Food, Culture & Society, as well as in edited collections and encyclopedias. I often give invited lectures at national and international community and academic settings, such as the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford, Mississsippi and to MA students in the Food and Communication program housed at the University of Gastronomical Sciences in (Colormo) Parma, Italy.


Ezra Cappell
Ezra Cappell
PhD, New York University

Associate Professor
Director of Inter-American Jewish Studies

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 214
Phone: 915-747-5739



I am Associate Professor of English and Director of the Inter-American Jewish Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.  I received my B.A. in English from Queens College, my M.A. in Creative Writing from The City College, and my M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. I teach and publish in the fields of 20th Century and Contemporary Jewish American Literature. I have published numerous articles on American and Jewish American writing and I am the author of the book, American Talmud: The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction. I am a coordinator of JAHLIT—the Society for the Study of Jewish American and Holocaust Literature (www.jahlit.org).  I am the Editor of the SUNY Press book series: Contemporary Jewish Literature and Culture and I am a frequent lecturer on Jewish American culture and Holocaust writing.  I serve as a coordinator of the annual Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Symposium. I have served as a Fellow at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and in 2012 I won the University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award.  I currently serve as a judge of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award and the National Jewish Book Award. 


Ruben Espinosa
Ruben Espinosa
PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 317
Phone: 915-747-5325




I am Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso, where I specialize in Shakespeare and early modern studies. I received my Ph.D. in English Literature from theUniversity of Colorado at Boulder (2008), and I am the author of Masculinity and Marian Efficacy in Shakespeare’s England (2011) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Immigration (2014), a collection of essays exploring the role of the immigrant and alien in Shakespeare’s England and drama. I have published essays in Shakespeare Quarterly, Explorations inRenaissance Culture, and Literature Compass. I am currently at work on a book-length project that employs critical race and ethnic studies to examine how the issues of race, language, ethnic identity, assimilation, and immigration not only inform our understanding of Shakespeare’s contemporary,cultural value in our diversified world, but also allow us to scrutinize the meaningful intersections of Shakespeare and Latinx identity and culture.   



Andrew Fleck
Andrew Fleck 
PhD, Claremont Graduate University

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 121
Phone: 915-747-0246








I joined the English faculty of UTEP in Fall 2015 as a tenured associate professor. I specialize in Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century British literature and culture. I have published a variety articles on the literary prose of this period, from Mandeville’s Travels to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. I am also interested in the history of authorship, reading, and publishing and have articles underway in the field of book history. In my current book project, I study Anglo-Dutch connections in the early modern period. A future project will build on that research to study cultural responses to scientific developments in the early modern period. 

I earned my Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and spent more than a dozen years teaching at universities in California.

Mimi Gladstein
Mimi Gladstein
PhD, University of New Mexico

Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 120
Phone: 915-747-6259




am the author of five books and co-editor of two. The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga won the American Book Award, Southwest Book Award, and a Latino Book Award. I have been recognized with international awards for teaching and research on John Steinbeck. In 2006 I received the University Distinguished Achievement Award for Service to Students. I was the first Director of the Women's Studies Program and am recognized in the reference work Feminists Who Changed America. In 2011 the El Paso Commission for Women named me to their Hall of Fame; in the same year I was chosen by the El Paso County Historical Society for their Hall of Honor. I have also chaired the English, Philosophy, and Theatre, Dance, and Film Departments.


Robert Gunn
Robert Gunn
PhD, New York University

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 218
Phone: 915-747-6265




I am Associate Professor of English, and an Affiliate of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies. I joined the UTEP faculty in 2005 after completing my M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature at New York University; I earned my B.A. at Oberlin College.  My teaching and research center on North American literatures and culture prior to 1900, and focus primarily on the evolving western geographies of American empire in the 19th Century.  I am particularly interested in representations of language, race, and embodiment; the literary and scientific networks of westward expansionism; borderlands theory; and the expressive cultures of Native America.  My book, Ethnology and Empire: Languages, Literature, and the Making of the North American Borderlands was published by NYU Press in 2015 as part of the series, “America and the Long 19th Century,” and is the winner of the 2016 Early American Literature Book Prize.  Other academic essays on 19th Century literature and culture have appeared in Western American Literature, LEGACY, and The Wordsworth Circle; a recent essay on the Humor of the Old Southwest was published in the collection, Mapping Region in Early American Writing (University of Georgia Press, 2015).  My work has been supported by research fellowships awarded by the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, the John Carter Brown Library, and the University Research Institute at UTEP.



Maryse Jayasuriya
Maryse Jayasuriya
PhD, Purdue University

Associate Professor
Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 217
Phone: 915-747-6252



I am an associate professor of English and an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts. I also teach courses in Asian Studies and Women's Studies. I earned my MA and Ph.D. from Purdue University and my BA from Mount Holyoke College. My primary area of research is Postcolonial Literature and Theory. My research interests include South Asian, East and West African, Oceanian, Caribbean, and nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature. My book, Terror and Reconciliation: Sri Lankan Anglophone Literature, 1983-2009, was published by Lexington Books (2012). I have published articles and reviews in South Asian Review, Journeys, Margins and the edited collection South Asia and its Others: Reading the 'Exotic' (2009). I have also guest-edited a Special Issue of South Asian Review (33.3) on Sri Lankan Anglophone Literature. I have served as the editor of the South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Newsletter and an Executive Board Member of the South Asian Literary Association. I teach classes in nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature, postcolonial studies, world literature, literature and film, and literary theory and criticism.


J. Michael Mullins
J. Michael Mullins
MFA, University of Texas at El Paso

Undergraduate Advisor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 222
Phone: 915-747-6253



am the undergraduate advisor for the English Department. I also schedule all graduate and upper-division undergraduate English courses. My teaching is usually limited to non-major, sophomore-level literature courses, taking advantage of a captive audience for recruiting purposes. In 2009, I received the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Academic Advisor Award. I am the department coordinator for the Program Learning Outcomes Assessment. I have been in the department since 1998.


Joseph Ortiz
Joseph Ortiz
PhD, Princeton University

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 320
Phone: 915-747-5276




joined the English Department at UTEP as an Associate Professor in 2012. Before that I taught at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. I received my BA in English and Mathematics from Yale University and my PhD in English from Princeton University. After graduate school I spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. My research and teaching interests include English Renaissance poetry and drama, Shakespeare, Milton, classical literature, Italian Renaissance poetry, translation, and the relationship between literature and music. My book, Broken Harmony: Shakespeare and the Politics of Music, was published by Cornell University Press in 2011. I am currently working on a number of book-length projects, including a study of form and translation in Renaissance literature, a scholarly edition of John Taverner’s Gresham College music lectures, and a biography of the 20th-century writer Gordon Merrick.


Marion Rohrleitner
Marion Rohrleitner
PhD, University of Notre Dame

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 321
Phone: 915-747-5647







received a PhD in English from the University of Notre Dame in August 2007, and joined the UTEP faculty as Assistant Professor the same month. I teach courses on twentieth and twenty-first century American literature, Chicana/o, Latina/o, and Caribbean Literature, African Diasporic Literature, and World Literature. As an immigrant who grew up near the Austrian-Italian border and as a scholar whose main research interests include Latina/o American literature, gender, and migration, I am excited to now live in the US-Mexico borderlands and work with students whose daily lives are characterized by multiple border crossings.

My interdisciplinary collection, Dialogues Across Diasporas: Women Writers, Scholars, and Activists of Africana and Latina Descent in Conversation, co-edited with Sarah E. Ryan, was published under the aegis of the Critical Africana Series by Lexington Books in December 2012. My monograph, Diasporic Bodies: Contemporary Historical Fiction and the Intimate Public Sphere, examines how historical novels by US-Latina/o and Afro-Caribbean writers published since the end of the Cold War reflect two paradigmatic shifts in American Studies: the “affective” turn, and the study of American literature in the context of US-imperialism; it is currently a finalist for the ICI Manuscript Competition. My scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in American Quarterly, Antipodas, Callaloo, El Mundo Zurdo 2, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Latino Studies, Inhabiting la Patria: Identity, Agency, and Antojo in the Work of Julia Alvarez, and in the Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, edited by Ilan Stavans. I have presented papers at the annual conferences of the American Studies Association, American Comparative Literature Association, Latin American Studies Association, MELUS and MESEA. I teach courses in American Literature (1865 to the present), Caribbean literature, Chicana/o and Latina/o literature, post-colonial literature, women’s literature, and world literature. My current research focuses on constructions and translations of Latinidad in the European Uniony.

David Ruiter
David Ruiter
PhD, Baylor University

Associate Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Union East 300
Phone: 915-747-7483




received my Ph.D. from Baylor University, and began work as a Visiting Assistant Professor at UTEP in 1998. I am now Associate Professor. I also lead the UTEP study abroad program to London and am a former fellow for the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning. My research generally focuses on Shakespeare and early modern literatures, and I have published on these topics in a variety of venues; among these are my monograph, Shakespeare's Festive History (Ashgate) and a chapter entitled, "Harry's (in)human face," in Spiritual Shakespeares (Routledge). Current projects include work on Shakespeare and immigration, hospitality, and first-generation audiences.

Thomas Schmid
Thomas Schmid
PhD, University of Utah

Professor
Director of Literature
Graduate Advisor in Literature

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 316
Phone: 915-747-6248



I received my Ph.D. from the University of Utah in nineteenth-century British literature and British Romantic studies. My books include Fools of Time, a novel forthcoming from Texas Review Press, Humor and Transgression in Peacock, Shelley and Byron, which won the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Book Award (1992), The Student Guide to Writing about Literature (2005), and a collection of scholarly essays on Romanticism and Pleasure (2010), co-edited with Michelle Faubert; I have also published numerous articles in top journals in my field, including Keats-Shelley Journal, The Wordsworth Circle, Gothic Studies and Studies in Romanticism. My most recent scholarly publications center on Romanticism and addiction. I enjoy teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in nineteenth-century British literature, eighteenth-century literature, Romanticism, Gothic literature, and Introduction to Literary Studies. I currently serve as the Director of Literature at UTEP and hold a seat on the Executive Board of the International Conference on Romanticism.


Tony J. Stafford
Tony J. Stafford
PhD, Louisiana State University

Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Worrel Hall 310
Phone: 915-747-6266




received my Bachelor's of Arts from Wake Forest University with a major in Philosophy and minors in English Literature and Latin, my MA from Texas Western College (now UTEP), and my PhD from Louisiana State University. I returned to Texas Western in 1964. I have served as chair of the department on four separate occasions, the most recent being 1997-2003. My academic specialization is dramatic literature, and, in addition to publishing Shakespeare in the Southwest: Some New Directions, I have published numerous articles on Shakespeare and other English Renaissance playwrights, such as Middleton and Shirley, as well as a number of articles on George Bernard Shaw and have completed a book-length manuscript on Shaw. I have also published on American dramatists such as Mamet, Rabe, Albee, McCullers, and others and have made innumerable conference presentations on dramatic literature. I have also written some dozen plays which have been produced in major cities across the country and have also published a novel, The Grace of a Summer's Day. I teach courses in Shakespeare, American drama, modern British drama, British literature, and have taught graduate courses in those subjects as well as Dramatic Comedy.

Dr. Cheryl TorsneyCheryl B. Torsney
PhD, University of Florida

Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Administration Building Room 310
Phone: 915-747-5725




I served as Senior Vice Provost at UTEP (2012-15), Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY New Paltz (2011-12), Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Hiram College (2009-2011), and Associate Provost for Academic Programs at West Virginia University (2003-2009) before joining the UTEP English Department full-time in Fall 2015. From 1985-2009, I taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in American literature, literary theory, and material culture in the Department of English at West Virginia University, serving briefly as Director of Graduate Studies. I also taught American literature at the Université de Savoie (Chambéry, France) and at the University of Utrecht (Utrecht, the Netherlands) during two Fulbright stints. My research focuses on late nineteenth-century American writers as well as contemporary material culture. My degrees are from Allegheny College (B.A. in English and French), LSU (M.A. in English), and the University of Florida (Ph.D. in English).


Dorothy Ward
Dorothy Ward
PhD, University of North Texas

Assistant Professor

Program: Literature
Office: 
Phone:  




am an assistant professor of English and the director of the Entering Student Program at The University of Texas at El Paso. I teach sophomore-level literature and Seminar in Critical Inquiry (The American Dream). I am a co-author of Organizing for Student Success: The University College Modeland have published articles on developmental English and first-year programming. From UTEP, I received the Outstanding Advocate for Entering Students Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2004, I received the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (University of South Carolina).


Brian Yothers
Brian Yothers
PhD, Purdue University

Professor
Associate Chair of the Department of English

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 212
Phone: 915-747-5886



I am a Professor of English, specializing in early and nineteenth-century American literature, and the Associate Chair of the Department of English. I have recently served as both Director of Literature and Director of Graduate Studies. In 2014, I was a recipient of the University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. I am the author of The Romance of the Holy Land in American Travel Writing, 1790-1876 (2007),Melville's Mirrors: Literary Criticism and America's Most Elusive Author (2011), and Sacred Uncertainty: Religious Difference and the Shape of Melville’s Career (forthcoming, 2015). I presently serve as Associate Editor of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, Co-Editor of the travel section of the Melville Electronic Library (MEL), and Associate Editor of Melville's Marginalia Online. I am the Editor of the Camden House Press series Literary Criticism in Perspective and have served as the Co-Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Journeys. My current book projects are a study of the critical response to the literature of slavery and freedom, emphasizing particularly Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass, and a co-edited book collection on Melville and religion. I am also the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming scholarly articles, editions, and reviews, dealing with such topics as Melville's biblical marginalia, Melville’s poetry, Poe's poetry and fiction, literary connections between South Asia and the Americas, and the literary cultures of nineteenth-century American missionaries. More information is available in my digital portfolio.


Barbara Zimbalist
Barbara Zimbalist
PhD, University of California at Davis

Assistant Professor

Program: Literature
Office: Hudspeth Hall 219
Phone: 915-747-5137




am a medievalist specializing in the vernacular religious literatures of England, France, and the Low Countries. I received my Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis in May of 2013. As a Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation, I worked as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Antwerp’s Ruusbroec Institute, and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Liège. I have published articles and book chapters on Middle English devotional literature, medieval Flemish mysticism, and Anglo-Norman hagiography. In addition to my primary research interest in high- and late-medieval religious cultures, I also pursue research in manuscript studies and book history and in the intersection of critical theory and medieval studies. My current project compares the translation and textual production of women’s visionary texts from medieval England and the Low Countries, examining authors such as Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and Hadewijch of Brabant. I am also researching a future project tracing the manuscript culture of dynastic genealogy in late-medieval England. I have taught courses in Chaucer, medieval drama, early British literature, and visionary literature; and I look forward to developing new courses here at UTEP on the Middle Ages and their reception.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT
Dr. Maryse Jayasuriya's essay " 'Oh, Oh Columbo': Carl Muller's Palimpsestic Urban Elegy in Columbo: A Novel," was published in Postcolonial Urban Outcasts: City Margins in South Asian Literature, edited by Madhurima Chakraborty and Umme Al-Wazedi (Routledge, October 14, 2016).

Dr. Tony Stafford's essay, "Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and the Pastoral Tradition," was published in Perspective on Edward Albee Studies, 2016.

Dr. Ruben Espinosa's essay, "Stranger Shakespeare," was published in Shakespeare Quarterly 67.1 (Spring 2016), as part of a Shakespeare Quarterly special issue on Race and Shakespeare, guest edited by Peter Erickson and Kim Hall.

Dr. Maryse Jayasuriya's essay "Legacies of War in Current Sri Lankan Diasporic Women's Writing" was published in Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 145-56, June 2016.


UPCOMING EVENTS

The English Department's End-of-Semester Reception will be held May 4, 2017 from 3:00-4:30 PM in the Geology Reading Room.

Dr. Patricia Witherspoon, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will be giving her Dean's Legacy Lecture, "Taking a Stand for the Liberal Arts," at 5:00 PM in the Tomas Rivera Conference Center of the Union on May 4, 2017.