English Faculty

Associate Professor

Department Chair: English

George Barlow is a poet who earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Hayward, an M.A. in American Studies and an M.F.A. in Poetry, both from... read more

Stephen Andrews portrait
Associate Professor

Steve Andrews teaches mostly 18th and 19th century American Literature.  His primary research interests are literary pragmatism, the poetics of landscape, and the cultural history of baseball.  He... read more

Associate Professor

Tim Arner specializes in medieval literature. His research and teaching interests include the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, the influence of classical texts on Middle English poetry, and the... read more

Dean Bakopoulos portrait
Assistant Professor

Dean Bakopoulos was born and raised in metro Detroit, which is the setting of his first novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon (Harcourt), a New York Times Notable Book. He has lectured at... read more

Benjamin, Shanna
Associate Professor

Shanna Greene Benjamin, assistant professor of English at Grinnell College, has published on African American literature and black women's literary history in MELUS, African American... read more

Mike Cavanagh
Orville and Mary Patterson Routt Professor of Literature
Professor, Emeritus/Emerita


Michael Cavanagh (Ph.D.) specializes in modern poetry, English and Irish literature from 1800 to the present, Milton, Dante, and Joyce.


His publications have... read more

Professor, Emeritus/Emerita

Elizabeth Dobbs regularly taught courses on rhetoric and historical linguistics, and seminars on Chaucer and other English and European medieval writers. She co-taught a MAP Seminar, “Conceptions... read more

Associate Professor

Theresa (Terri) Geller teaches courses in film and media studies, literary and critical theory, and feminist and queer studies. Her research interests include film history, continental philosophy... read more

Louise R. Noun Professor of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies
Associate Professor

Email: henrya[at]grinnell[dot]edu

Astrid Henry teaches a wide variety of courses in Grinnell’s Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS)... read more


Carolyn Jacobson's current research looks at Victorian novelists who made use of various disease theories to describe human relationships.

Lakesia Johnson
Associate Professor

Department Chair: Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

Lakesia D. Johnson, J.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies and English where she offers... read more

Director, Center for Humanities

Shuchi Kapila has published in major journals such as Victorian Studies, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and Interventions. Her book, Educating Seeta: Family Romances of... read more

Professor, Emeritus
Assistant Professor

James Lee’s teaching and research focus on Renaissance drama and poetry. He teaches courses on Shakespeare, Milton, the history of the scientific method, and contemporary critical theory. Based on... read more

Lecturer, Emeritus/Emerita
Associate Professor
Associate Dean

Heather's field of research is 18th century British literature. Her areas of interest include autobiography and narratives of the self, the epistolary novel, and women’s writing. She has published... read more

Assistant Professor

Hai-Dang Phan's teaching and scholarship focus primarily on ethnic American literature, poetry and poetics, translation, and the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature and culture. A graduate of... read more

Visiting Faculty in English


Professor Savarese is currently teaching in the English department at Duke University; he will be back for the spring semester.

In 2012-2013 he received a Mellon-funded Humanities Writ... read more

Assistant Professor

Carrie Shanafelt specializes in British and American literature of the long eighteenth century. Her dissertation, Common Sense: The Rise of Narrative in the Age of Self-Evidence, examines... read more

Saadi Simawe
Associate Professor, Emeritus/Emerita

Saadi Simawe has taught English and African-American literatures. He also has offered independent projects on comparative literature and Middle Eastern literature. He has published translations... read more


Erik Simpson's literature courses focus on British writing from Shakespeare to the present, especially the literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His primary research field is... read more

Director, Purposeful Risk Engagement Project

Paula V. Smith joined the faculty of Grinnell College in 1987. She is a writer whose poems and short fiction appear in literary journals like Flyway, Red Cedar Review, North American Review, and... read more