Recent Faculty Activity

In the fall of 2023, faculty from the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program published new books and articles, organized interdisciplinary events, and received awards—within the University of Houston and beyond—for creative and scholarly work. From presenting talks in historically important spaces to earning recognition for recently released biographies and craft books, department faculty have a wide range of achievements to celebrate in a variety of contexts.

Dr. Margot Backus will be the first speaker to present at the Jefferson Market Library in New York, invited by the James Joyce Society. She will give her talk, “What’s Love Got To Do With It? The Joycean Anecdote and Femme-Queer Modernist Counterpublics,” in the library that was the once the court house in which Margaret Anderson was prosecuted on obscenity charges brought against her magazine for publishing the “Nausicaa” chapter of Ulysses. In addition, Dr. Backus’s article “Taking Candy from Strangers: Food, Proselytism, and “Bloody Sacrifice” in ‘Lestrygonians’” appeared in Joyce Studies Annual 2022, Ulysses centenary issue, 143-61.


Dr. Paul Butler, along with graduate student co-authors Erin Cadenhead, Lea Colchado-Joaquin, Ann O’Bryan, Rand Khalil, Dalel Serda, and Virginia Swindell, have a book review forthcoming in Composition Forum: a review of Greg Giberson, Megan Schoen, and Christian Weisser’s Behind the Curtain of Scholarly Publishing: Editors in Writing Studies. In addition, Dr. Butler and co-authors Lea Colchado-Joaquin, Rand Khalil, Ann O’Bryan, Dalel Serda, Virginia Mixon Swindell have a forthcoming article in Composition Forum: "Janet Emig’s 'Composing Aloud' Method: Reflecting on a Fifty-Year Legacy."


Dr. Daniel Davies organized a series of events in Spring 2023 with the British poet Patience Agbabi. In addition to classroom visits and a public reading, Agbabi also led a creative writing workshop with PAIR, a nonprofit serving Houston’s refugee youth.


Dr. Tara T. Green’s biography Love, Activism, and the Respectable Life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, has received 2023 Prose Award Biography Finalist Award of the Association of American Publishers and the Honor Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.


Dr. W. Lawrence Hogue’s book This World Is Not My Home: A Critical Biography of African American Writer Charles Wright was published by University of Massachusetts Press in July 2023.


Dr. Sebastian Lecourt is coediting, with Winter Jade Werner, a special issue of Victorian Studies on “Religion and Empire” – volume 66, no.2 (Winter 2024), and has written chapters for three forthcoming volumes: Dustin Friedman and Kristin Mahoney  (eds.), Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: The 1890s (Cambridge UP, 2023); Elisha Cohn and Juliette Atkinson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of George Eliot (Oxford UP, 2024); Mark Knight (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Religion in Victorian Literary Culture (Cambridge UP, 2024).


Dr. Nathan Shepley’s article, “White Clubwomen in the Progressive Era South and Ideological Framings of Education: Lessons for the Present,” was published in College English, vol. 85, no. 5, 2023, pp. 442-462. DOI:


Peter Turchi's book (Don't) Stop Me if You've Heard This Before, and Other Essays on Writing Fiction was published in January 2023 and immediately went into a second printing; Publishers Weekly wrote, "Writing wisdom is in no short supply in this rich collection." He was featured on the podcasts Gulf CoastFirst Draft: A Dialogue on Writing; and Other PPL with Brad Listi: Craftwork, and on City Lights Live! and NPR's Houston Matters. He was the featured writer of the Leon Literary Review's December 2022 issue, which included an excerpt from "Spur Cross and Carefree," and a featured presenter at the San Antonio Book Festival. The invited speaker at the annual initiation dinner of the UH chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, he also served as the graduation speaker for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. In May he received a CLASS Distinguished Faculty Award.


Dr. Lauren Zentz was nominated to be an Affiliate in UNC’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) for the 2nd year in a row.