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The English Faculty

Kent AndersonKent S. Andersen
Instructor of English
Director, Hess Center for Leadership and Service

Office: NCC 264
Phone: (205) 226-4679

Kent S. Andersen is the director of the Hess Center for Leadership and Service and a long-time instructor of English. He teaches courses in science fiction, composition and writing, and literature. In addition, he teaches courses for BSC's Distinction in Leadership Studies program, as well as a course on creativity for the Harrison Honors Program. His interests include community-based learning, critical theory, and leadership.

Degrees: B.A. (1995) Iowa State University; M.A. (1998) American University; Ed.D. (2014) Vanderbilt University.

Jane ArcherJane Archer
Professor of English

Office: 324 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-7838

Jane Archer specializes in 20th-century literature, particularly international fiction. She regularly offers an E-term course on contemporary best-selling novels. Her interests include comparative literature, critical theory, feminist theory, and gender studies.

Degrees: B.A. (1975) University of Wisconsin; Ph.D. (1984) State University of New York at Buffalo.

Fred AsheFred Ashe
Professor of English

Office: 220 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4862

Fred Ashe specializes in 20th century American literature and postmodern theory. He brings his ongoing scholarship to his course on Ernest Hemingway. Other interests include African-American culture, protest writing, and the memoir.

Degrees: B.A. (1983) Michigan State University; M.A. (1986), Ph.D. (1991) Vanderbilt University.Alabama.


William Tynes Cowan

William Tynes Cowan
Chair, Department of English
Associate Professor of English

Office: 314 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4871

Tynes Cowan specializes in 19th century American literature, particularly literature of slavery and protest. He contributes to the Distinction program in Leadership Studies and the minor in Human Rights and Conflict Studies. Interests include the 1960s, popular culture, and folklore.

Degrees: B.A. (1985) Birmingham-Southern College; M.A.Ed (1990) University of Alabama at Birmingham; M.A. (1992) Northeastern University; Ph.D. (2001) The College of William and Mary.

Susan K. HagenSusan Hagen
Mary Collett Munger Professor of English
Associate Provost of BSC

Office: 323 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4660

Susan K. Hagen is a medievalist, a Chaucer scholar, and Buffie the Vampire Slayer enthusiast. Her interests include Middle English poetry, gender studies, and interdisciplinary studies. She also serves as Director of the Donald C. Harrison Honors Program at BSC and is Senator of the South Central District of Phi Beta Kappa.

Degrees: A.B. (1969) Gettysburg College; M.A. (1972) University of Maryland; Ph.D. (1976) University of Virginia.

Lucas Johnson
Assistant Professor/Director of Writing
Director, BSC Writing Center

Office: 102 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4852

Lucas Johnson is the Director of the BSC Writing Center and Assistant Professor of English. He teaches courses in academic writing and composition with a focus on argument, genre, resourcefulness, digital design, object-oriented writing, and experiential learning. Lucas also focuses on the politics and economics of higher education, neoliberalism, and inequality studies.

Degrees: B.A. (2005) University of Northern Colorado; M.A. (2008) University of Northern Colorado; Ph.D. (2015) University of Illinois at Chicago.

Michael L. MclnturffMichael L. Mclnturff
Professor of English

Office: 302 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-7831

Michael L. Mclnturff specializes in literature of the English and Italian Renaissance. He regularly teaches Shakespeare and travels with students to Italy during E-term. Interests include Dante, classical mythology, and fine wine.

Degrees: B.A. (1968) Reed College; Ph.D. (1975) Indiana University.


Sandra L. Sprayberry Sandra L. Sprayberry
Robert Luckie Professor of English

Office: 306 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-7832
Personal Web Page

Sandra L. Sprayberry holds degrees in poetry writing and twentieth-century poetry. She is a published poet and scholar, and her dissertation work on W. B. Yeats was published as part of Macmillan of London's and the University of Iowa Press's multi-volume critical edition of original Yeats manuscripts; the work has been reviewed in The New York Review of Books, among other publications. Her teaching and research interests include 20th-century and contemporary poetry, creative writing, Native American, Irish, and African American literatures, international Human Rights, and travel-study to Ireland and South Africa. She directs BSC's minor in Human Rights and Conflict Studies. Her office houses one of the biggest unofficial Elvis shrines in academia.

Degrees: B.A. (1979), M.F.A. (1983), University of Alabama; Ph.D. (1988) Florida State University.

Joseph StittJoseph Stitt
Instructor of English

Office: 111 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4859

Jody Stitt teaches courses in expository writing and creative writing. In addition, he
offers individualized study in fiction writing. His E-term courses have introduced
students to Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, humor theory, and the apocalypse.

Degrees: B.A. (1993) M.A. (1995) University of Alabama.


John D. TatterJohn D. Tatter
Professor of English
Director, BSC Writing Center

Office: 309 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-7835

John D. Tatter specializes in 18th century literature, Augustan satire, and Restoration drama. His first-year seminar connects literary texts with real world examples of poverty, discrimination, and racism. An interest in the aesthetics of British gardens led him to create an online interactive tour of the immense Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire, England.

Degrees: B.A. (1976) Houghton College; M.A. (1979), Ph.D. (1984), Ohio University.

Melinda Rainey Thompson
Melinda Rainey Thompson Instructor of English

Office: Humanities Center 204
Phone: (205) 226-7844

Melinda Rainey Thompson is the author of four books: SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully, The SWAG Life, I Love You--Now Hush, and I've Had It Up To Here With Teenagers. A former director of Birmingham-Southern's Writing Center, Melinda has rejoined the faculty to teach composition and creative writing courses. She is currently writing a new book and continues to travel to speaking events whenever possible. She lives in Homewood with her husband, the presiding judge of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, and their three teenagers, all named for relatives long dead in the proper Southern tradition.

David W. Ullrich
Professor of English

Office: 221 Humanities Center
Phone: (205) 226-4865

David W. Ullrich specializes in 19th century British literature, particularly the Romantic and Victorian poets. He also has published extensively on F. Scott Fitzgerald and teaches a course on that author. Dr. Ullrich has taught the Grimms' Fairy Tales in the Harrison Honors program for fifteen years. He is known to his students as the professor who enjoys the pleasures of close reading a text. His other interests include creative writing, the short story as a genre, and American modernist art and literature.

Degrees: B.A. (1975) Marquette University; M.A. (1976), Ph.D. (1986) University of Wisconsin-Madison.