Department of English
205 Roy Cullen Building
Phone: (713) 743-3004
Fax: (713) 743-3215
Department of English New Faculty Introduction
Tenure Track Faculty
We are very eager to welcome two new tenure-track assistant professors in Applied Linguistics whose work in areas of world Englishes, Literacy Studies, Language Policy, and Sociolinguistics complement the University’s commitment to multi-culturalism and cultural diversity.
Chatwara S. Duran, Assistant Professor
Dr. Chatwara Duran brings a unique research and teaching resume to the Department of English. An Applied Linguist, Dr. Duran joins us from Arizona State University, where she recently completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Language and Literacy. Her expertise is exceptionally well-suited to the University of Houston’s diverse student body: her teaching in areas of language and literacy education, and her richly multi-cultural research agenda exploring the ideologies of multi-lingualism, the spread of English language, pedagogy, and policy, place her in the forefront of research that is shaping a new trajectory of English teaching that values other languages among English language learners. Her work with newly arrived refugee families in the United States, particularly Karenni refugees who have relocated from Burma to Thailand and then to the United States, explores the ways in which her subjects acquire what she calls “accumulated literacies”: language skills acquired through everyday practices. Her research sheds light on the relation between language ideologies, literacy practices, and language learning processes. The implications of her teaching and research extend into the area of language policy and language use and socio-cultural knowledge.
Lauren Zentz, Assistant Professor
Dr. Lauren Zentz, also an Applied Linguist, joins us from the University of Arizona, where she recently completed her Ph. D. in the Language, Reading, and Culture program. Lauren is not able to be here today because she is presenting a paper at the Sociolinguistics Symposium in Berlin. Her work in areas of discourse analysis, Language and identity, and language policy, nicely complement aspects of our curriculum and our students’ interests. Her dissertation, on “Global Language Identities and Ideologies in an Indonesian University Context,” explores the different tensions between language and culture; her longer-term research interests include language policy, and discourse and identity studies. Lauren has also done an MA in Sociolinguistics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Her teaching and research includes qualitative approaches to language use and policy and also ethnographic methodologies.
Houston Writing Fellows
The English Department is exceptionally proud of its Houston Writing Fellows Program, a instructional post-doctoral program that is designed to bring experienced and talented teachers and writers to the Department to deepen and expand our exploration of new writing pedagogies. The Houston Writing Fellows are central to our Department’s doctoral concentration in Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy; they work with the other faculty in mentoring teaching assistants and developing new pedagogies and teaching writing and composition in the Department. This year, we are excited to introduce 4 new Houston Writing Fellows. Each of our new Fellows brings a particular set of pedagogical and writing expertise to our departmental discussions about the teaching of writing.
Craig Bevan took his Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing here at the University of Houston, where he won a Presidential Fellowship and a Glenn Cambor Inprint Fellowship. In addition to a number of awards and recognitions for his poetry, Craig Bevan has taught writing and rhetoric, creative writing, and Shakespeare at the University of Houston and Virginia Commonwealth University. He brings professional writing experience to our program from his years as the Senior Development Writer at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Antonio Elefano brings to our Houston Writing Fellows program an exceptional range of training and experience in writing pedagogy and teaching. He studied Rhetoric at Texas A&M, and then received the highest grade offered in Advanced Legal Writing at Yale Law School, where he took his Doctor Juris. In addition to practicing law at Kaye Scholer law firm, he was one of the few associates comprising the Kaye Scholer faculty who taught writing to junior associates. From law, Antonio went on to complete an MFA and to teach creative writing. He joins us to bring together his different perspectives on writing pedagogy.
Kelly Moore completed her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where she won a Barthelme award for nonfiction and received Honorable Mention for the Academy of American Poets. Kelly brings yet another set of pedagogical skills and training to our program, having taught advanced-level technical writing, and developing online instructional tools; additionally, she has worked as a writing consultant with HCC, teaching ESL students, and she has been the writer in residence at Writers in the Schools here in Houston.
Zack O’Neill comes to us from California, where he has been teaching writing courses in rhetoric and composition, composition and critical thinking, and creative writing at the University of California, Davis and at California State, Sacramento. Zack received his M.F.A. in fiction at the University of South Carolina, where he also taught a variety of courses in writing and rhetoric. He brings a wide range of experience to our Houston Writing Fellows program: he has been editor of USC’s Yemassee Literary Journal; has assisted in a program to promote student writing; and has extensive experience training new writing instructors and teaching assistants, which is an area of especial importance for the Department of English.
Visiting Professor in English and Creative Writing
We are extremely fortunate to have a distinguished visiting assistant professor joining our Creative Writing Program this fall. There are times when the stars are in alignment and we are able to bring a visiting professor to the Department and Program who provides a voice and aesthetic that will add a special artistic richness and range that we don’t otherwise have.
ZZ Packer joins us this Fall as Visiting Assistant Professor in English and Creative Writing; she will be teaching a graduate Fiction Workshop and an advanced undergraduate class in Short Story Writing. ZZ was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, did her undergraduate degree at Yale, and an MFA at the University of Iowa. She has taught most recently at Princeton, and at the University of California, Berkeley, Vassar, and the University of Texas, Austin. Her fiction has have been published in all the major international literary forums, including The New Yorker, Granta, and Harpers, among others. ZZ’s collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, was a national bestseller, a NYT Notable Book, and a National Book Award winner. Her novel, The Thousands, about the Buffalo Soldiers in the post-Civil War years, is forthcoming from SpiegelGrau.