Research

As a learner-centered and discovery-driven institution, Western Michigan University values the research of its faculty. The following lists the research interests of faculty members in the Department of English.

Faculty research interests

Elizabeth A. Bradburn (Beth)

  • Milton
  • Seventeenth-Century British Literature
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Poetry

Jonathan Bush

  • English education
  • Thought and writing
  • Methods in teaching college writing

Margaret H. Dupuis (Meg)

  • Authorship, gender and authority in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England

Philip Egan (Phil)

  • American literature
  • American fiction
  • Faulkner
  • Melville

Nancy Eimers

  • Creative writing
  • Contemporary poetry

Steve Feffer

  • Theatre and popular music
  • Jewish theatre 

Maria E. Gigante

  • Rhetoric of sciences and science communication
  • Visual rhetoric
  • Science writing pedagogy 

Brian Gogan

  • Public, professional, letter and grant writing
  • Critical theory
  • Baudrillardian rhetoric

Esther Cappone Gray

  • Origins of the Orff-Schulwek music education approach

Paul Johnston

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Dialectology
  • Historical linguistics

Katherine Joslin

  • American fiction and non-fiction at the turn into the twentieth century
  • Material culture and social and political history
  • Women writers
  • Law and literature

Richard Katrovas

  • Creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)

Thomas Kent

  • Rhetoric and writing studies 

Cynthia J. Klekar

  • Intersections between gift exchange and capitalism, theories of benevolence, and systems of obligation in the literature and culture of eighteenth-century England 

Todd Kuchta

  • Modern British literature
  • Literary interpretation
  • Contemporary literature 

Jeanne Lahaie

  • Children's literature
  • Young adult literature
  • Rhetoric

Jil Larson

  • Ethics and religion in the 19th and 20th century

Casey D. McKittrick

  • Film interpretation
  • African American literature
  • American literature II
  • Lesbian and gay literature and culture

Meghann Meeusen

  • Adaptation studies and children's visual culture
  • Portrayals of gender in children's and young adult fantasy
  • Cultural and historical activity theory 

Lisa Cohen Minnick

  • Language variation and change
  • English in the United States
  • Language attitudes and standardization 

Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler

  • African historical tradition and folktales
  • African historiography
  • Turkish folklore and literature

Christopher C. Nagle (Chris)

  • British and Irish literature and culture from 1660-1830
  • Romanticism, sensibility and the gothic
  • Queer studies and the history of sexuality

Thisbe Nissen

  • Advanced fiction
  • Fiction workshop
  • Flash fiction
  • Artifacts in fiction

William Olsen (Bill)

  • Modern poetry
  • Poetry workshop
  • Nature of poetry
  • Contemporary poetry

Staci Perryman-Clark

  • Culturally relevant pedagogies
  • Writng program administration
  • First year writing

Adrienne Redding

  • English renaissance drama and literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Linguistics 

Judith Rypma (Judy)

  • Slavic myths and tales
  • Folklore and mineralogy
  • Poetry for young people

John Saillant

  • African American literature
  • Amercian literature
  • Colonial America to 1763

Eve Salisbury

  • Chaucer and the child
  • The Gower project

Jana K. Schulman

  • Medieval literature
  • Vikings history and culture
  • Law and literature in Anglo-Saxon England
  • Old Norse

Scott Slawinski

  • Gender and print culture in the early American republic

Charlotte Thralls

  • Rhetorical theory
  • Cultural studies

Grace C. Tiffany

  • Renaissance history and culture 

Karen Vocke

  • Migrant education
  • Bilingual education
  • International literacy

Daneen Wardrop

  • Emily Dickinson
  • American literature from the 19th century

Allen Webb

  • Teaching secondary English
  • Teaching and technology
  • Postcolonial studies, including middle eastern literature

Nicolas S. Witschi

  • Film history and criticism
  • Literature and the American west
  • American literary realism and naturalism