Saint Michael's English

In the English Department at Saint Michael's College, we study literature both as art (the aesthetic representation of human nature and culture) and as artifact (a record of human nature and culture). From introductory seminars on the New Yorker and Road Trips to senior seminars on Monsters and Endings, we offer courses that encourage students to examine themselves, encounter difference, and embrace complexity within communities of other readers and writers. Our eclectic department is composed of thoughtful, passionate teachers, and our courses are dynamic, engaging, and challenging.

Our department offers courses in British, American, and world literatures, as well as writing and film. The ten courses of the major follow a natural pattern, from an introductory seminar (EN 110) through several survey courses and into Critical Theory (EN 325) and a choice of upper-level courses, culminating with a senior seminar (EN 410). All courses foster critical thinking through writing and discussion. Majors must maintain a high level of written expression and will be expected to learn and use the skills of literary scholarship. The Department also offers two minors: one in literature and the other in creative writing, each requiring five courses. The Creative Writing minor allows students to study literature "from the inside out," as writers of it, but fosters the same critical thinking, writing, and discussion skills as the major and the literature minor.

Our upper-level, special topics courses explore a theme in depth that you may have otherwise never known to exist. Some examples:

  • Beauty and Desire in the Postmodern American Novel
  • Milton
  • The Blues
  • Monsters
  • Other Worlds, Other Minds: Knowledge and Vision in Modern Literature, Art, and Film
  • Tolkien
  • Myth, Metaphor, and Metamorphosis
  • Digital Literature
  • The Horror
  • Melancholy
  • Teaching Writing
  • Wordplay

English Learning Outcomes

Sample Four Year Plan for English Majors*

First Year
Fall Spring
EN 110 Seminar in Literary Studies Liberal Studies courses
First Year Seminar
  Liberal Studies courses     
Fall Spring
EN 219 British Literature I EN 221 British Literature II
EN 251 American Literature I EN 253 American Literature II
Liberal Studies course Liberal Studies course
Elective Elective
Fall Spring
EN 325 Critical Theory English electives
English electives Electives
  Junior Seminar     
Fall Spring
EN 410 English Senior Survey English electives
English electives Electives

* For students who enroll in the fall of 2018.

Nick Clary, PhD

Professor of English, Emeritus

Contact Professor Clary

Saint Edmund's Hall 361
Box 353
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Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
B.A. LaSalle College

Areas of Expertise:

Shakespeare, Milton, Renaissance Literature, Drama

Courses I Teach:

Milton, Shakespeare, Honors Colloquium, and First Year Seminar: Drama and Culture

My Saint Michael's:

In my more than 35 years on this faculty, I have had the pleasure of working with many young individuals who have gone on to become outstanding citizens. What make these students special are not so much the positions they have achieved in the work place but the values and ideals that they have carried with them into their careers.

The best part about teaching at Saint Michael’s is that the classes are small, which allows for a great deal of discussion and active learning, with many opportunities to write, receive commentary on written work, and engage in peer reviewing.  I appreciate how the students at Saint Michael's are respectful, not only to faculty and staff but also to one another, and among them there is an inspiring culture of volunteerism.

I like to teach all of my courses but I prefer Shakespeare because it is always a challenge for students who are not used to reading Early Modern English texts, and it often brings out the best in them as students of literature.

Jonathan D'Amore, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of the College

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Founders Hall 111
Box 107
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B.A., University of Notre Dame
M.A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Prof. D’Amore teaches courses in the English Department and the First-Year Seminar Program at Saint Michael’s. He also serves as the Associate Dean of the College, a position that lets him meet almost every student who studies here and talk about the many great experiences they’re having inside and outside the classroom and how they’re facing and overcoming any challenges that come up along the way. He attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He loves all the stereotypical Vermont things that people who live in Vermont love, even skiing and snowboarding – neither of which he’s ever actually done. He lives with his two young sons, two old dogs, and another St. Mike's English professor, his wife Maura D’Amore.

Maura D'Amore, PhD

Associate Professor of English, Program Director American Studies, Program Director Gender Studies

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Saint Edmund's Hall 331
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Ph.D., English (specialization: American Literature to 1900), with a five-course minor in American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
B.A., Classics and Literatures & Cultures, Brown University

Areas of Expertise:

literary geographies, print culture, gender studies, and American Studies.

Joel Dando, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor of English
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B.A. University of Arizona
Ph.D. Harvard University

Areas of Expertise:

Romantic Poetry in general and the life, poetry, and letters of Lord Byron in particular, literature and the visual arts, fiction and film

Courses I Teach:

  • British Literature II
  • British Romantic Poets
  • Genres: Poetry
  • Introduction to Literary Studies
  • Modern Civilization (in Humanities)

Greg Delanty, BA

Professor of English

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Saint Edmund's Hall 341
Box 383
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B.A. National University of Ireland 

Areas of Expertise:

Poetry and literature

Courses I Teach:

  • Genres: Poetry
  • Introduction to Literary Studies: Modern American Poetry
  • Irish Literature
  • Poetry workshops

My Saint Michael's:

I am a widely published Irish poet born in Cork, Ireland. I enjoy teaching all of my classes, and consider myself a lucky person to have a job teaching what I love - the reading and writing of poetry. I love teaching because I love poetry.

I like the ethos of the college. I find the Edmundite ethos and in general the liberal arts a healthy way of being in the world and a good way for young people to learn to be in the world for the rest of their lives.

We're the better for understanding through literature how other human beings have lived in the world. In the end, all learning is humility, and students will understand that and it will give them a better chance of understanding the good and bad of life and of adding to society in a positive fashion. We can't overestimate the interconnectedness of things. Literature shows us how to see our own uniqueness, to take off the mundane goggles, to see that no matter how small we are, we're important.

Elizabeth Inness-Brown, MFA

Professor of English
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Saint Edmund's Hall 333
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M.F.A., Columbia University, Creative Writing: Fiction
B.A., St. Lawrence University, English and Fine Arts

Areas of Expertise:

Academic writing, fiction writing, creative nonfiction writing

Classes I Teach:

  • FS111: The Examined Life
  • EN327: Fiction Writing Workshop
  • EN329: Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop
  • EN101: College Writing

Nathaniel Lewis, PhD

Professor of English and Environmental Studies Coordinator

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Saint Edmund's Hall 342
Box 282
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Ph.D. Harvard University
M.A. University of North Carolina
B.A. Yale University

I teach courses on literary theory, environmental writing, and multiethnic literatures. I have written on western American literature, literary aesthetics, and nature writing.

Tim Mackin, PhD

Director of the Writing Program, Instructor of English

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Founders Hall 115
Box 379
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Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
B.A. Colgate University

Areas of Expertise:

Writing, Modernist Literature, Literature and Philosophy

Courses I Teach:


  • Advanced Academic Writing
  • The Art of Memory
  • College Writing
  • Modernist Poetry


  • Modern Civilization
  • The 20th Century

William Marquess, PhD

Instructor of English
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Contact Professor Marquess

Saint Edmund's Hall 329
Box 171
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Ph.D. Harvard University
B.A. Duke University

Areas of Expertise:

My special interest lies in writing fiction.

Courses I Teach:

  • First-Year Seminar (Off the Grid)
  • Fiction Writing Workshops

Paying Attention:

I am a fiction writer and teach writing workshops and introductory literature courses. Writing fiction makes me pay attention to everything - the eye color of the person I'm listening to, the quality of the light, the timbre of a voice. Paying attention to students is crucial in teaching, and teaching keeps me in touch with youth, which is part of the world I want to write about.

Robert Niemi, PhD

Professor of English

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Saint Edmund's Hall 345
Box 394
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M.A., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst
M.S. Columbia University
B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Areas of Expertise:

American Studies; American literature and cultural history; film studies; critical theory; popular culture studies

Courses I Teach:

  • Advanced film courses
  • American literature surveys
  • Critical Theory
  • Genres: Film

Christina Root, PhD

Professor of English; Coordinator, Humanities Program

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Saint Edmund's Hall 336
Box 385
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M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Columbia University
A.B. Bryn Mawr College

Courses I Teach:

In the English Department:

  • British Romanticism
  • 19th and 20th Century British and European Literature

In the Humanities Program:

  • Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Modern Civilization

Kerry Shea, PhD

Associate Professor of English

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Saint Edmund's Hall 339
Box Box 392
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M.A., Ph.D. Cornell University
B.A., M.A. Middlebury College;

Areas of Expertise:

I have published on women and film as well as Middle High German and Old Norse literature and am working on a book, Engendering Romance: Women and European Medieval Romance.

Courses I Teach:

I teach courses in film, early British Literature, mystery fiction, utopian fiction and women’s literature.

Lorrie Smith, PhD

English Department Chair, Professor of English and American Studies
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Contact Professor Smith

Saint Edmund's Hall 337
Box 167
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M.A., Ph.D. Brown University
B.A. University of Massachusetts-Boston

Areas of Expertise:

African American literature, especially poetry

Courses I Teach:

  • African American Literature
  • American Literature I and II
  • First-Year Seminar on Race and Culture
  • Genres: Poetry; Senior Seminar on various topics (latest: Literature and the Blues)
  • The Middle Passage (Transatlantic Slave Trade in History, Memory, and Imagination)

My Saint Michael's:

My classes offer the opportunity to engage students in discussions of race, racism, African American literature and history. I have worked hard to develop strategies for safely approaching what can often be loaded material that challenges students' comfort zones. I often incorporate experiences that combine classroom study with activities in the community. This includes overnight field trips to Charlestown, Massachusetts with my First-Year Seminar course and a three-week service-learning program in Ghana with students from my Middle Passage class. Through these cross-cultural encounters, students have a chance to examine and enlarge their own perspectives. I am also a faculty member in the college’s American Studies program.

There is a real commitment here to teach the whole student. I enjoy having a chance to shape hungry young minds and develop personal relationships with students. Saint Michael's students have open minds and good hearts. They are very empathetic, kind, and friendly, and many are interested in finding ways to connect what they learn in classes to the larger world. They also have a strong desire to contribute to the community through service. My favorite class to teach is African-American Literature and The Middle Passage, because it's a chance to introduce our students to a tradition they know little about, and to push their comfort zones.

Joan Wry, PhD

Associate Professor of English

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Saint Edmund's Hall 340
Box 186
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B.A. Saint Michael's College
M.A. University of Virginia
Ph.D. McGill University

I teach the American Literature surveys, Literary Studies, and first-year seminars.  I have published papers on Shakespeare, Shelley, Whitman and antebellum women writers.  

  • English students edit The Onion River Review, an annual literary journal featuring poetry, prose, and visual arts by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater community. The Onion River Review hosts open readings throughout the school year, as well.
  • The department hosts a reading series that includes the John Engels Memorial Reading held annually. Each year the English department invites writers to campus to share their work with the Saint Michael's community.
  • A number of English majors work as coaches at the Writing Center, which offers students free help with writing.
  • Saint Michael’s English majors can apply for summer grants to work with faculty members on extended projects.
  • English majors can pursue internships based on their interests as part of their educational experience.

After graduation, English majors go on to careers in:  

  • College, High School, and Elementary Education
  • Writing + Editing
  • Marketing + Communications
  • Special Education
  • Law
  • Customer Service
  • Counseling
  • Project Management

Our English graduates have used their background for jobs and careers in many fields.  Especially because we emphasize critical thinking and written communication, our English graduates are well prepared for jobs and careers in many fields upon graduation. They have also gone on to teach at all levels, and have pursued graduate studies in many areas, including law, environmental science, and music. Anyone seeking a solid liberal arts background on which to build a future will find exactly that in the English major.

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