General Contact: Phone: 507 222 4322
Chair of the English Department: George Shuffelton
Coordinator for the Minor in Creative Writing: Gregory Smith
Professor of English
George Shuffelton teaches medieval and early modern literature, with a particular focus on Middle English poetry. He has published work on Chaucer, Gower, Langland, and the representation of minstrels in Middle English poetry. His edition of a late medieval household miscellany, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 61, appeared in 2008 as part of the TEAMS Middle English Text Series. He is currently working on studies of fourteenth and fifteenth-century book owners. Degrees: Harvard, A.B.; Cambridge, M.Phil.; Yale, Ph.D.
Peter Balaam teaches and writes on American literature and culture from the colonial period to 1900, with special interest in Emerson and the American novel. He is the author of a book on mourning in the antebellum U.S. literature entitled, in Melville’s phrase, “Misery’s Mathematics.” Degrees: University of California Berkeley, B.A.; Princeton Theological Seminary, M.Div.; Princeton University, M.A., Ph.D.
Arnab Chakladar teaches and writes on South Asian literature and film, and postcolonial studies. He has published on the idea and marketing of Indian literature, the novels of Shashi Deshpande and R.K Narayan, and multilingual publishing and translation on the Web. He is the founder of AnotherSubcontinent.com, an online journal and forum on South Asian society and culture. He co-parents two dogs and two boys. Degrees: Delhi University (Hindu College), BA; University of Southern California, Ph.D.
Nancy Cho teaches and writes on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, Asian American literature, and contemporary multicultural drama. She also offers courses in American studies. Degrees: Yale, B.A.; Michigan (Ann Arbor), M.A., Ph.D.
Professor of English and M.A. and A.D. Hulings Professor of American Studies
Adriana Estill teaches courses on U.S. Latino/a literature and twentieth century American literature, especially poetry. She also teaches in the American Studies program. She has published essays on Sandra Cisneros and Ana Castillo and recently contributed to the Gale encyclopedia of Latino/a authors with scholarly entries on Sandra María Esteves and Giannina Braschi. Her interest in popular culture has led to published articles on Mexican telenovelas and their literary origins as well as to current research into the perceptions and constructions of Latina beauty in contemporary Latino literature and the mass media. Degrees: Stanford B.A.; Cornell, M.A., Ph.D.
Pierre Hecker’s areas of teaching interest include Shakespeare; the drama, poetry, and prose of the English Renaissance; drama in performance; visual culture; the history, theory, and criticism of drama and film; screenwriting; and genre fiction. Degrees: Wesleyan, B.A.; Columbia, M.F.A. (Film); Oxford, M.Phil. and D.Phil.
Gregory Hewett teaches American literature and creative writing. He has a special interest in poetry and poetics. His third book of poems, The Eros Conspiracy, has recently been published by Coffee House Press. Greg has been a Fulbright Fellow, Fulbright Professor, and a Fellow at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France. Degrees: New York (Binghamton), B.A.; California (Davis), M.A.; New York (Albany), D.A.
Susan Jaret McKinstry teaches courses on Jane Austen, the Victorian novel, Victorian poetry and painting, narrative theory, literary theory, and creative writing. Her current research explores poetry and painting, book illustration, and the book as object in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. She is the Helen F. Lewis Professor of English. Degrees: Miami (Ohio), B.A., M.A.; Michigan, Ph.D.
Michael Kowalewski teaches courses in American literature and culture. He is a former Director of American Studies and active in the Environmental and Technology Studies (ENTS) program. He is a former president of the Western Literature Association and the author or editor of several books, including Deadly Musings: Violence and Verbal Form in American Fiction (1993), Reading the West: New Essays on the Literature of the American West (1996), and Gold Rush: A Literary Exploration (1997). Degrees: Amherst, B.A.; Rutgers, M.A., Ph.D.
Jessica Leiman teaches and writes on British literature of the long eighteenth century, with particular focus on the novel, life-writing, gender and sexuality, and contemporary print culture. She is currently working on a book on impotence and authorship in eighteenth-century fictional and nonfictional personal histories. Degrees: Williams, B.A.; Yale, M.A., Ph.D.
Professor of English
Kofi Owusu writes and teaches courses on African American literature and culture, British literature, and English literatures other than British and U.S. Professor Owusu holds the B.A. Honors degree from the University of Ghana, the M.Litt. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada.
Gregory Blake Smith teaches classes in American literature and creative writing. He is the author of four novels: The Maze at Windermere, named one of the best books of 2018 by The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and The Advocate; The Madonna of Las Vegas; The Devil in the Dooryard; and The Divine Comedy of John Venner, which was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. His short story collection The Law of Miracles won the 2010 Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2011. Degrees: Bowdoin, A.B.; Iowa, M.F.A.
Keith Harrison, an internationally known poet, was a Professor of English and Writer in Residence at Carleton from 1968 to 1996. He taught beginning and advanced Crafts of Writing Poetry and experimental classes in poetry recitation. A recent book, entitled Changes: New and Collected Poems, 1959-2002, was published in 2002 by the Black Willow Press.
James McDonnell specializes in Irish literature, modern criticism and Shakespeare; he has, on a number of occasions, taken a college seminar studying Irish literature in Ireland. Degrees: Cambridge, B.A., M.A.; Washington University (St. Louis), Ph.D.
Elizabeth McKinsey teaches in both English and American Studies. Her scholarship has focused on 19th century American literature, art, and culture; 20th century Southern literature; and issues in liberal education. She also teaches courses on the 1930s, the American Sublime, the Midwest in Literature and Art, and Writing about America & Globalization. She was Dean of the College at Carleton from 1989 to 2002, and taught previously at Harvard University and Bryn Mawr College. Degrees: Harvard-Radcliffe, A.B.; Harvard, Ph.D.
Carol Rutz directed the College Writing Program from 1997-2017. Her research interests include response to student writing, assessment of writing, and assessment of faculty development. Degrees: Gustavus Adolphus, B.A.; Hamline, M.A.; Minnesota, PhD.