Section Menu

Department of English

Faculty & Staff

Meet the faculty and staff of the Rollins Department of English.


Vidhu Aggarwal

Professor, Theodore Bruce and Barbara Lawrence Alfond Chair

Carnegie Hall - Room 102


B.A. University of Chicago
M.A. University of Southern California
Ph.D. University of Southern California

Dr. Aggarwal’s poetry and multimedia practices engage with world-building, video, and graphic media, drawing mythic schemas from popular culture, science, and ancient texts. Their poetry book, The Trouble with Humpadori (2016), imagines a cosmic mythological space for marginalized transnational subjects.  Avatara, a chapbook from Portable @Yo-Yo Labs Press, is situated in a post-apocalyptic gaming world where A.I.’s play at being gods. They have published in the Poetry, Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Aster(ix) Journal, Leonardo, among other journals. Aggarwal is currently engaging in a “cloud poetics,” as a way of thinking about personal, collective, and digital archives as a collaborate process with comic artists, dancers, and video artists. Daughter Isotope appeared with Operating System in 2021. A Djerassi resident and Kundiman fellow, they teach creative writing and postcolonial/transnational literature.   

Katie Avagliano

Katie Avagliano

Visiting Assistant Professor

Orlando Hall - Room 104


B.A. Florida State University 
M.F.A. American University 

Katie Avagliano holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction and non-fiction/memoir from American University. Her writing focusing on themes of coming of age in a world shaped by changing climate and technologies. She has taught writing at all levels at a half dozen community colleges and universities across the country, and uses this experience to teach courses focusing on misinformation and anti-racism. She has also contributed to mental health initiatives at several colleges, pioneering therapy dog programs in conjunction with the student wellness group Active Minds.

William Boles

William Boles

Professor, Hugh F. and Jeannette G. McKean Chair

Carnegie Hall - Room 106


B.A. Wake Forest
M.A. University of Maine
Ph.D. University of Tennessee

Dr. Boles teaches courses in dramatic literature and film. He is the author of The Argumentative Theatre of Joe Penhall (McFarland, 2011) and Understanding David Henry Hwang (University of South Carolina, 2013). He is the editor of After In-Yer-Face: Remnants of a Theatrical Revolution (Palgrave, 2020) and Theater in a Post-Truth World: Texts, Politics and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2022). He is currently writing a monograph on Mike Bartlett for Routledge’s Modern and Contemporary Dramatists–Stage and Screen series. He is the co-editor of Methuen Drama’s Agitations series and director of the annual Comparative Drama Conference.

Victoria Brown

Victoria Brown

Associate Professor

Carnegie Hall - Room 138


B.A. Vasser College
M.A. University of Warwick
MFA Hunter College

Professor Brown is the author of numerous short stories and the novel, Minding Ben (Hyperion). Her current fiction explores the intersection between the self and the story, relentlessly interrogating Tim O’Brien’s assertion that “story truth can be truer than happening truth.” Professor Brown’s nonfiction essays exploring issues of race and racial belonging, parenting, and relationships have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Harper's Bazaar, Apogee Journal, and elsewhere. Her more critical writing has been published in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. She teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and transnational/postcolonial literature. She was recognized for her teaching with a 2022 Arthur Vining Davis Excellence in Teaching Award.

Martha Cheng

Martha Cheng


Carnegie Hall - Room 104


B.A. Christendom College
M.A. Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Cheng holds a PhD in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research investigates discourse as constitutive of identity and community in the public sphere, most recently focusing on governmental apologies for historic wrongs. She teaches courses on political speech, crisis communication, language and culture, and writing. She has been recognized for her teaching, research, and service with a Cornell Distinguished Faculty Award in 2018.

Matthew Forsythe

Matthew Forsythe

Associate Professor

Carnegie Hall - Room 135


B.A. Calvin College
M.A. University of Tennessee
Ph.D. University of Georgia

Dr. Forsythe specializes in writing fiction and creative nonfiction. In addition to writing workshops, he teaches courses on Editing Essentials, The Plots of PIXAR, and Writing Books for (& with) Children.  He directs the first-year writing program and serves as the Faculty Director of the Honor Council.  His research interests include collaborative writing, and his co-authored stories with Rollins undergraduates have appeared in Sky Island Journal and The Headlight Review.

Ben Hudson

Ben Hudson

Assistant Professor

Carnegie Hall - Room 136


B.A. New York University
M.A. New York University
Ph.D. University of Georgia

Dr. Hudson's research and teaching focus on nineteenth-century British literature; his secondary interests are in aestheticism, sexuality studies, and the intellectual history of amateurism. His current manuscript Exquisite Amateurs explores dilettantism as a crucial intellectual ideal at the fin de siecle. His research has appeared recently in Victorian Poetry and The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

Suzanne Jamir

Visiting Assistant Professor

Carnegie Hall - Room 101


B.A. Clemson University 
M.A. Texas State University
Ph.D. Florida State University 

Dr. Jamir specializes in creative writing, and her own writing is largely in fields fiction and creative nonfiction with a focus on the second-generation immigrant Iranian-American experience. Her writing has been recently published or is forthcoming in journals like Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, and Notre Dame Review. Dr. Jamir is the author of the story collection In the Middle of Many Mountains (2013, Press 53).

Jill Jones

Jill Jones


Carneige Hall - Room 103


B.A. University of New Hampshire
M.A. University of New Hampshire
Ph.D. Tufts University

Jill Colvin Jones is Professor of English at Rollins College where she teaches courses that include American Literature, popular culture, and African-American Literature; also, Monsters in Literature and Film, Mean Girls, and Breaking Bad and the Great American Novel. Jones has published articles and chapters on mystery novels, Zora Neale Hurston, Harriet E. Wilson, Toni Morrison, Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, James Weldon Johnson, Connie May Fowler, and Jerry Springer and the Puritans. She also pops off in the press from time to time, from The New York Times to the Orlando Sentinel, and you can find her on podcasts and local television stations giving her opinions on Hurston, Hemingway, Huckabee, and hair products.

Isabelle Karleskint

Isabelle Karleskint

Visiting Assistant Professor

Orlando Hall - Room 102


H.B.A. University of Toronto
M.A. University of Central Florida
Ph.D. Indiana University of Central Florida

Dr. Karleskint holds a Ph.D. in English Composition and Applied Linguistics from IUP, and she specializes in rhetorical theory. Her research centers on camp style, particularly in terms of how it intersects with the popular music industry, mainstream media, internet culture, and composition pedagogy. In the classroom, she bridges writing with performance studies, including stage and screen. During her time at UCF, she helped judge the Knights Write showcase and earned the 2019 Department of Writing and Rhetoric Award for Graduate Student Excellence. She has presented her pedagogical work at NCPTW and CCCC, and will again at PAMLA in Fall 2023.

Lucy Littler

Lucy Littler

Senior Lecturer

Carnegie Hall - Room 115


B.A. North Carolina State University
M.A. Appalachian State University
Ph.D. Florida State University

Dr. Littler’s research and teaching interests include the dynamics of race in American culture, composition studies, and the science of teaching and learning. Her work has been published in The Southern Literary Journal, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, and the Associated Colleges of the South's Open Access Resources. She is Director of Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts (rFLA), the college’s general education program.

Jana Mathews

Jana Mathews


Carnegie Hall - Room 113

Ph.D. Duke University
M.A. University of Colorado
B.A. Brigham Young University

Dr. Mathews' primary research and teaching focus on the literature and culture of medieval and early modern England, with concentrations in legal studies, material culture, and the history of kingship. Recent essays appear in Material Religion; the Journal of Illustration; and the Journal for the Study of British Cultures. Her secondary research–collegiate sororities and fraternities–emerged as a surprising but exciting outgrowth of serving as a longtime faculty advisor of several Greek-letter organizations. She is the author of The Benefits of Friends: Inside the Complicated World of Today’s Sororities and Fraternities (UNC Press, 2022). She is honored to have received the Arthur Vining Davis and Cornell Distinguished Faculty awards for excellence in teaching, research, and service; the McKean Award (nominated by the senior class); and Cornell Distinguished Teaching Award.

Paul D. Reich

Paul D. Reich


Carnegie Hall - Room 105


A.B. Rollins College
M.A. Purdue University
Ph.D. Purdue University


When he’s not running marathons, Dr. Reich teaches classes in literature and media studies, including courses on Asian literature and film, contemporary television, and adaptation. His essay, “Precious Resources: Cultural Archiving in the Post-Apocalyptic Worlds of Mr. Burns and Station Eleven,” has recently appeared in Text & Presentation. With Rollins undergraduate Emily O’Malley, he has authored two essays on critically acclaimed television shows Westworld, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Watchmen.


Emily Russell

Emily Russell

Department Chair / Professor, Kenneth Curry Chair of Literature

Carnegie Hall - Room 114


B.A. Cornell University
M.A. University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Russell's field is American literature with an emphasis in 20th and 21st century fiction, the multiethnic novel, and medical humanities. She is the author of Transplant Fictions: A Cultural Study of Organ Exchange (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019) and Reading Embodied Citizenship: Disability, Narrative, and the Body Politic (Rutgers University Press, 2011).

Anne Zimmermann


Orlando Hall - Room 108


B.A. Westminster College
M.F.A. Purdue University

Professor Zimmermann’s areas of teaching are introductory composition, American literature and creative writing. Her areas of interest and research include trauma, generational culture and Disney‘s global influence.


Adeline Davis

Adeline Davis


Carnegie Hall - Room 137


Work Study Assistants

Asha Budhai

Work Study Assistant

Kelsey Grace Kidd

Work Study Assistant

Emeritus Faculty

Barbara Carson

Theodore Bruce and Barbara Lawrence Alfond Professor of English (1979-2007)

B.A., Florida State University
M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Ed Cohen


B.A. University of Maryland
M.A. University of Iowa
Ph.D. University of New Mexico

Margaret "Maggie" Dunn

Professor of English, and Coordinator of English Major and Minor in the Hamilton Holt School (1989-2008)

B.A. and M.A. Stetson University
Ph.D. Indiana University at Bloomington

Carol Frost

Professor Emeritus (2008-2022)

B.A. SUNY, Oneonta
M.A. Syracuse University
Frost taught poetry and directed Winter with the Writers. Along with essays in aesthetics, her poetry publications include Honeycomb (2010), The Queen's Desertion (2006), I Will Say Beauty (2003), Love and Scorn (2000), New and Selected Poems (2000), Venus and Don Juan (1996), and Pure (1993).

Alan Nordstrom


A.B. Yale University
M.A. University of Michigan
Ph.D. University of Michigan

Maurice O'Sullivan

Professor of English (1975-2020)

A.B. Fairfield University
M.A. Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University

Professor O'Sullivan specialized in 18th-century English literature, minority literature, popular culture, and Florida studies.

Kenneth Curry Professor of Literature

Steve Phelan

Professor of English (1971-2007)

B.A. and M.A., Stetson University
Ph.D., Indiana University at Bloomington.

Thaddeus Seymour

Professor of English and President Emeritus, (1978-1990)

A.B., The Pontifical College Josephinum
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Jean West

Irving Bacheller Chair of Creative Writing (1972-1997)

B.A. University of California at Berkeley
M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lezlie Laws

Professor Emerita of English

Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia