English and Creative Writing


The English faculty members, who are accomplished teachers and scholars, have a variety of research interests, including 20th-century British literature, literature of the South, Native American literature, Medieval drama, African-American literature, Restoration and 18th-century British literature, critical theory, women's literature, creative writing and 19th and 20th-century American literature.

Naomi Guttman, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: poetry and poetics, food writing, contemplative pedagogy, and environmental and feminist literary study.
A member of the Hamilton faculty since 1996, Naomi Guttman holds a MFA degree from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from the University of Southern California. More >>

Her first book, Reasons for Winter, won the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry in Quebec, and her second, Wet Apples, White Blood, won the Adirondack Literary Award for Poetry. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and an Artist's Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Guttman's teaching and research interests include poetry and poetics, food writing, contemplative pedagogy and environmental and feminist literary study. Her current project is a novella-in-verse titled The Banquet of Donny and Ari.

Tina Hall, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: creative writing, 20th century literature, experimental women's writing, and postmodern gothic.
Tina May Hall earned an M.F.A. in fiction from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. More >>

Tina May Hall earned an M.F.A. in fiction from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Her novella, All the Day's Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009.

Hall was named the 2010 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, one of the nation’ s most prestigious awards for a book of short stories. Hall’s book, The Physics of Imaginary Objects, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2010. Hall's fiction has appeared in The Collagist, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, descant, Water-Stone Review, and other literary journals.

Hall's fiction has appeared in 3rd bed, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, descant, Water-Stone Review, and other literary journals. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Hall's teaching interests include monsters, the gothic, technology’s relationship with the body, contemporary fiction and experimental women writers.

Doran Larson, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: 20th century American literature, the history of the Anglo-American novel, fiction writing, nonfiction writing and prison writing of the U.S., South African and Ireland.
Doran Larson teaches courses in prison writing, the history of the novel, 20th-century American literature, and creative writing. More >>

He has published articles on Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Henry James and popular film. Since November of 2006, he has taught a creative writing course inside a maximum-security state prison. Larson's essays on prison writing and prison issues have been published in College Literature, Radical Teacher, English Language Notes and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is the editor of two forthcoming volumes:  The Beautiful Prison, a special issue of the legal journal, Studies in Law, Politics, and Society; and Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America.  He is also the author of two novels, The Big Deal (Bantam, 1985), and Marginalia (Permanent, 1997). Larson's stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Boulevard, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and Best American Short Stories. The Iowa Review published his novella, Syzygy, in 1998. He has also published travel writing, magazine features, and paid op-eds.

Vincent Odamtten, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: African literature with a focus of Ghanaian and women's literature; 20th century Caribbean literature; African American literature; science fiction; literary criticism; and use of digital technology in the study of literature.
Vincent Odamtten joined the Hamilton faculty in 1985, after earning a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. More >>

While he specializes in African, Caribbean and African American literatures, Odamtten also teaches science fiction and postcolonial criticism. He has published an acclaimed book, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (1994), and has contributed articles to a number of critical anthologies, including Emerging Perspectives on Ama Ata Aidoo (1998), Challenging Hierarchies: Issues and Themes in Colonial and Post-Colonial Narratives (1997), Of Dreams Deferred, Dead Or Alive: African Perspectives on African-American Writers (1996) and Language in Exile: Jamaican texts of the 18th & 19th Century (1990).  In 2007, Broadening the Horizon: Critical Introductions to Amma Darko, a collection of articles edited by Odamtten, was published in England. In 2012 he published an article "Not Just for Children Anymore: Aidoo's The Eagle and the Chickens and Questions of Identity" in Essays in Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70. Currently, he is researching the life and times of Togbi Sri II, Paramount Chief of the Anlo-Ewes of Southeastern Ghana, as part of a multimedia narrative project.

Onno Oerlemans, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: Romantic period literature, animals in literature, animal rights, nature writing – literature and environmentalism, and cultural and political history of the Adirondack Park.
Onno Oerlemans earned his Ph.D. from Yale University. He has published articles on the form and function of lyric in Whitman, Milton and Wordsworth, on literary theory and Henry James, and on animal rights and taxonomy in romanticism. More >>

Oerlemans’ book Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature (University of Toronto Press, 2002) examines the many ways in which romantic-period authors explore and represent the physical presence of the natural world. He has recently published articles on the representation of animals in Coetzee and Gowdy, the romantic origins of environmentalism, and architecture in romantic period writing. Oerlemans is currently writing a book about the representation of animals in the history of poetry.


Patricia O'Neill, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: Victorian and postcolonial literature, and contemporary and new media studies.
Patricia O'Neill teaches 19th century British literature and Women Filmmakers. More >>

She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and is the author of Robert Browning and 20th Century Criticism (1995), editor of Olive Schreiner's 1883 novel Story of an African Farm (2002) and contributor of essays on globalization and cinema. O'Neill's current work is the creation of a digital archive that promotes knowledge and discussion of the poetry of Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali.

Andrew Rippeon, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Rippeon completed his Ph.D. in literature at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. More >>

His research focuses upon American poetry after 1950, and he is particularly interested in the relationship between experimental literature and emergent media.  At Buffalo, Rippeon edited the annual journal of poetry and poetics, P-Queue and published QUEUE Books.  He is currently editing a volume of selected letters from the poet Larry Eigner to his first major publisher, Jonathan Williams, and Rippeon’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Contemporary Literature, Eleven Eleven, Damn the Caesars, the EDIS Newsletter, Jacket, The Poetic Front and With+Stand.  At Hamilton, he will develop the College’s letterpress facilities, and will teach courses in poetry and poetics, and the short story.

Jane Springer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: poems, poetics, nonfiction, and Southern literature.
Jane Springer, associate professor of English, received her Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University. More >>

Her first book, Dear Blackbird, won the Agha Shahid Ali prize for poetry (University of Utah Press, 2007) and her second, Murder Ballad, won the Beatrice Hawley Award (Alice James Press, 2012). Other honors she's received include a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among others. She's currently working on a collection of poems (Albedo) and a some essays, one which will appear in an anthology on Appalachian literature titled Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean (Ohio State University Press, 2014). Her academic interests include poetry, poetics, nonfiction and Southern literature.

Nathaniel Strout, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English

Areas of Expertise: Shakespeare, English Renaissance drama, English Renaissance non-dramatic literature, and Restoration and 18th century drama.
Nathaniel Strout joined the Hamilton faculty in 1981 after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. More >>

He teaches and studies the literature of the English Renaissance, in particular the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Strout has published articles on poems and court masques by Ben Jonson, on John Ford's play, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and on the idea of mutuality in Shakespeare's As You Like It. He is a contributor to Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Hamlet, published by the Modern Language Association. Strout served as associate dean of faculty from 1992-1996. He served as the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor from 2005 to 2008.

Katherine Terrell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: Old English, Middle English and Middle Scots language and literature.
Katherine H. Terrell, associate professor of English, received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2005, after earning graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and Oxford University. More >>

She specializes in Middle English and Middle Scots literature, and her work has appeared in The Chaucer Review, Studies in Philology and Romance Quarterly, and in Cultural Diversity in Medieval Britain (ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, 2008); in addition, Terrell is the co-editor of Scotland and the Shaping of Identity in Medieval Britain (Palgrave, 2012). She was recently a visiting research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Terrell’s current project examines how the poetic and historical discourses of medieval Scotland create a nationalist discourse through their responses to English writings. Her teaching interests include Old English, Chaucer, women's writing and medieval Christian depictions of Muslims and Jews.

Margaret Thickstun, Ph.D., The Jane Watson Irwin Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: literature in 17th century England and Colonial America, particularly by women and by people writing on religious subjects.
Margaret Thickstun received her Ph.D. from Cornell University. More >>

She is the author of Fictions of the Feminine: Puritan Doctrine and the Representation of Women (Cornell U Press, 1988) and Milton's Paradise Lost: Moral Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) as well as articles on Milton, Bunyan, Swift, Puritan women's spirituality, Puritan clergymen's arguments about childbearing, and seventeenth-century women's arguments for their religious authority. Thickstun's teaching interests include religious literature, as well as questions relating to history of the book and literary reception – the transition from manuscript to print culture, books as physical objects, the place of women writers, the making and role of anthologies, the making of a canon. Her favorite non-seventeenth-century writers are Jane Austen, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W.B. Yeats and Robert Frost.

Benj Widiss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: 20th century and contemporary American literature; literary theory; autobiography and film.
Benjamin Widiss specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and film. More >>

He is the author of Obscure Invitations: The Persistence of the Author in Twentieth-Century American Literature (Stanford UP, 2011), which traces developing strategies of authorial self-inscription and -occlusion, and their implications for the process of reading, in novels, memoirs and films over the last century. Widiss is working on a second book, Flirting with Embodiment: Textual Metaphors and Textual Presences in Contemporary Narrative, which explores a constellation of relationships between mass production and individual bodily presence, conceptions of temporality and loss, and constructions of adolescence and maturity as a means to articulate the aesthetic postures of an emergent post-postmodernism. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Steve Yao, Ph.D., Edmund A. LeFevre Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Areas of Expertise: 20th century American and British literature, literary translation, Ezra Pound, comparative literature, Asian American literature, especially poetry, global literary modernisms, Asian diasoporas and transpacific literature.
Steven Yao earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Yao taught at Ohio State University from 1997 to 2002. More >>

He is the author of two books, Translation and the Languages of Modernism (Palgrave/St. Martins, 2002) and Foreign Accents: Chinese American Verse from Exclusion to Postethnicity (Oxford, 2010) which was selected by the Association for Asian American Studies for its Book Award in Literary Studies. He is also co-editor of Sinographies: Writing China (Minnesota 2008), Pacific Rim Modernisms (Toronto 2009), and Ezra Pound and Education (2012).

In 2012 he was awarded an ACE Fellowship for the 2012-13 academic year. In 2005 Yao was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and he also served as a Stanford Humanities Center External Junior Faculty Fellow for 2005-06.


John O'Neill, Ph.D., Professor of English emeritus

Areas of Expertise: literature of Restoration England, 1660-1700.
John O’Neill, who has been a member of the Hamilton faculty since 1972, received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. More >>

His research interest is the literature of Restoration England, 1660-1700. O’Neill is the author of George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham(1984) and has published articles and reviews in such journals as Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Huntington Library Quarterly, Modern Philology and the Durham University Journal. In recent years, O’Neill has pursued an interest in the film adaptation of classic English literary texts. He has organized panels on “The Eighteenth Century on Film” and has presented conference papers on Fielding’s Tom Jones and Laclos’s Dangerous Liaisons.  Since 2002, he has taught the seminar “Jane Austen: Text and Film.”