OUR FACULTY have included Pulitzer and National Book Award finalists, an editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, a winner of three National Magazine Awards, and the only American named a Life Trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Some live right here in Sewanee; others visit us from as far away as the University of Zurich, as well as Vanderbilt, Boston University, CUNY, The University of Cincinnati, Syracuse, and other campuses, bringing with them lifetimes worth of experience as writers, scholars, and teachers. They teach classes on Faulkner, Dante, and Shakespeare; on African American Literature, Modern Poetry and the Environment, Southern Literature, and the Bible. They teach Latin American and Russian Literature in translation. To make sure our students get the most out of these classroom encounters, we keep our numbers low; around 12 people in a class or workshop, with about 80 in the program as a whole.
The makeup of faculty changes a bit each summer, with our veterans rotating in and out and some new faces appearing every June. It's our way of providing, within the scope of a small program, something of the breadth and depth of a large one. Over the course of their studies our students will get to know many distinguished teachers and hear many voices.
Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels The Throwback Special, Abbott Awaits, U.S.!, Bear v. Shark, and Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography. His short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including The Paris Review, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer, The Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Mother Jones, The Cincinnati Review, and New Stories from the South. His novel Abbott Awaits was published in 2011, to strong reviews: “Not since John Cheever,” said novelist Brock Clark, “has an American male fiction writer written so ingeniously, so beautifully, so heartbreakingly about the pain and sweetness of domestic life.'' His acclaimed new novel, The Throwback Special, was serialized in The Paris Review. The book follows 22 men who meet each year to reenact the 1985 Joe Theisman football injury. Bachelder was awarded the prestigious Terry Southern prize this year. He received an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida and taught at New Mexico State, Colorado College, and the University of Massachusetts before joining the Creative Writing faculty of the University of Cincinnati in 2011. Photo: Camille Stallings.
Ron Briggs is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultures at Barnard College and teaches undergraduate courses there and graduate seminars at Columbia University. A specialist in the literature and culture of Latin America, he has published essays and reviews in Studies in Travel Writing, Dieciocho, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and other scholarly journals. His first book, Tropes of Enlightenment in the Age of Bolívar: Simón Rodríguez and the American Essay at Revolution, was published in 2010 by Vanderbilt University Press; he has a second on the evolution of the social novel forthcoming from Vanderbilt in 2017. Briggs graduated from Sewanee with a BA in English and Spanish. He earned his MA at Middlebury College and his PhD at New York University.
Virginia Ottley Craighill has been teaching at Sewanee since 2001 and is also a graduate of the University of the South (C’82), the University of Georgia, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests range from 19th century and modern American literature to literary journalism, creative non-fiction, and women’s literature.
As advisor to the student newspaper, The Sewanee Purple, she is an advocate of student writing outside of the classroom as well as in it. Professor Craighill is also currently the director of Writing-Across-the Curriculum and oversees the Writing Tutors and Fellows at the Sewanee Writing Center.
Michael Dunaway is the producer and director of the documentary 21 Years: Richard Linklater, a New York Times Critics Pick starring Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Billy Bob Thornton, and Keanu Reeves, and of The Man Who Ate New Orleans, which featured Morgan Spurlock, Tory McPhail, and the Rebirth Brass Band. Dunaway graduated Sewanee in 1991. He is Movies Editor for Paste magazine and Creative Producer of the Sarasota Film Festival. He is presently at work on films about Martin Luther King and Quentin Tarantino.
Adrianne Harun’s first collection of stories, The King of Limbo (Houghton Mifflin), was a Sewanee Writers' Series Selection and a Washington State Book Award finalist. Her novel, A Man Came Out of a Door in a Mountain (Viking/Penguin), won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction and was also a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award (PNBA) and has been longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin (IMPAC) Award. Adrianne studied Art History at Sarah Lawrence College and English Literature at Drew University and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College. A longtime resident of Port Townsend on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, she has worked as an editor for many years and currently teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshops, an MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. Photo: Mary Stafford.
Charles Martin is equally accomplished as an original poet and as a student and translator of Latin verse. His works in the former category include Room for Error (1978), Steal the Bacon (1987), and What the Darkness Proposes (1996), and in the latter, both a translation of The Poems of Catullus (1995) and a critical study of that poet. In 2002 his Starting from Sleep: New and Selected Poems (2002) was a finalist for the Lemore Marshall Prize from the American Academy of Poets, and in 2004 his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses won that organization's Harold Morton Landon Award for translation. In 2005, the American Academy of Arts and Letters honored him with the coveted Award for Literature. His most recent books are Signs & Wonders, a new collection of poems, and a collaborative translation (with Gavin Flood) of the Bhagavad Gita. Charles Martin received his degrees from Fordham and the SUNY at Buffalo and has taught at the City University of New York and Syracuse University. Photo: Buck Butler.
Kelly Malone is an Associate Professor of English and Chair of English Department at Sewanee. She holds the BA from Providence College and her MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching upper-level classes on Shakespeare and eighteenth-century British literature, she regularly teaches as part of the Early Modern team in Sewanee’s interdisciplinary Humanities program. With Elizabeth Mansfield, she co-edited Seeing Satire in the Eighteenth Century, published by the Voltaire Foundation of the Oxford University Press in 2013. Her research and writing focus on the literary and cultural history of Restoration and Augustan England.
Mark Rasmussen is Charles J. Luellen Professor of English at Centre College, where he has been teaching courses on Medieval and Renaissance literature since 1989. The editor of Renaissance Literature and its Formal Engagements (to which he also contributed an essay), he has also published scholarship in Sixteenth Century Studies,Spenser Studies, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, and other journals. He has presented scholarly papers in venues from Kalamazoo to Cambridge, with stops in Galway, London, and Venice. A graduate of Harvard, Rasmussen received his PhD at Johns Hopkins, where he also taught before taking up his post at Centre. There he has received the Kirk Award for Teaching Excellence among many other honors.
Neil Shea is a veteran journalist whose work—published in such venues as The Providence Journal, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic Monthly, The Christian Science Monitor, and The American Scholar—literally spans the globe, often covering military or environmental issues. Shea has been embedded with US troops in Iraq and interviewed a Taliban commander in Afghanistan; he has explored Mexico’s crystal cave, visited Madagascar’s remote stone forest, and reported on shrinking sea ice in the Arctic sea. An editor-at-large for the Virginia Quarterly Review and a writer for National Geographic, Shea has been honored with gold and silver Lowell Thomas Awards for stories on Ethiopia and Cuba, and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and the Overseas Press Club Award. Shea has taught courses in journalism and nonfiction writing at Boston University and at Furman University. Shea often posts dispatches on Instagram @neilshea13. Photo: Stephen Alvarez.