English and Theatre Department
What We Do:
If you ask our faculty about their research interests, you will hear many different answers. You will hear that we study medical narratives, Shakespeare, Latinx Literature, Lighting Design, Victorian Studies, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction, Environmental Literature, James Joyce and playwriting, to name just a few of our specialties – and that we love our work.
When you come to class, you'll find that passion informing our teaching. We teach our students to read deeply and well, and to engage with literature on many fronts, whether performing a scene from one of Shakespeare’s comedies, crafting a poem, analyzing a narrative, constructing a set or developing a writing portfolio.
Our distinguished faculty help our students succeed in the classroom, in co-curricular activities and in their lives as professionals and as citizens.
How We Stand Out:
- Our teaching is grounded in Jesuit values such as cura personalis (care for and with the whole person) and the importance of the imagination.
- Our classes develop increasing sophistication in reading, writing and verbal communication, skills that serve our students all their lives.
- Our faculty model the innovation and professionalism that we teach our students.
- Our students succeed in the “real world,” and they learn to measure what success means.
- Our dedicated faculty members work with students outside the classroom — to develop a literary magazine, to present papers at student conferences, to mentor creative activities and to prepare for graduate and professional school.
- Our faculty and students take part in distinctive events that highlight the Arts and Humanities. to see our most recent events.
Meet Our Faculty:
The English and Theatre Department faculty and staff lead by example. Our faculty members model the kind of literary engagement, creative expression and community involvement we work to instill in our students. Their unique talents, love of teaching, creative interests and academic scholarship play intricate parts in the success of our programs and our students. Find out more about our faculty news.
Just a few examples:
- Dr. Michael Friedman is currently working on two scholarly articles about Patrick Somerville's HBO Max show Station Eleven, which is an adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel's novel of the same name. In the first essay, Dr. Friedman explores the way in which the television series uses Shakespeare to help present a muticultural future through references to the use of Shakespeare in the original Star Trek. In the second essay, he examines how the television series incorporates the novel's nostalgia for the technological advances of modern times, lost in a global pandemic, by showing how the world must not simply seek a return to the past, but must instead adapt the cultural heritage of the past to reconcile with the circumstances of the Present.
- Dr. Madeline Gangnes, specializes in digital humanities, 19th Centure British Literature, and Comics & Visual studies. Dr. Gangnes has recently published "Drawn to Reconcile: The Queer Reparative Journey of ElfQuest" which appears in the Summer 2020 issue of links: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society.
- Dr Billie Tadros has published two Poetry books titled Graft Fixation (Gold Wake Press, 2020) and Was Body (Idolent Books, 2020) and a Poetry Chapbook titled Am/Are I (Francis House, 2020). She is currently working on a narrative research project exploring the gendered implications of traumatic injuries to self-identified women runners, and seeking to articulate a feminist injury poetics.
- ’s has developed and led three different community-engaged projects featuring students. These projects, Proprioception (2015), The Porches Project (2019), and 1902 (2023) were all interdisciplinary and student-centered. In each project, student writers who performed research on their community through historical documentation or via community story gatherings. This research was used to creat dramatic works, which were developed and performed.
- Dr. Teresa Grettano's scholarship focuses on pedagogy, digital and information literacy, political rhetoric, and WPA work.
Dr. Susan C. M茅ndez
Dr. Brian Conniff
Dr. Jones DeRitter
Dr. Michael Friedman
Dr. Madeline B. Gangnes
Dr. Toni Glover
Dr. Teresa Grettano
Dr. Joseph Kraus
Prof. Richard Larsen
Prof. Bonnie Markowski
Prof. Bianca Moore
Prof. Michael O'Steen
Dr. Billie R. Tadros
Dr. Stephen Whittaker
Dr. Hank Willenbrink
Dr. Rebecca Beal
Dr. Daniel Fraustino
Dr. Leonard Gougeon
Inside the Classroom:
Lessons in English and Theatre reach far beyond the classrooms and stage. Our students learn to channel their passions and step outside their comfort zones to discover something new about themselves and the world around them.
- Teaching emphasizes creativity, intellectual curiosity and incisive analysis.
- Formal written assignments develop strong written and verbal communication skills for thoughtful expression.
- Readings elicit questions opinions, discussion and written responses
- On-stage performances and experiential learning opportunities encourage students to take the lead in the classroom and beyond
- Faculty contribute to the growth and development of nearly every Scranton student through our First Year Writing program.
Many of our students develop their research while working closely with faculty. For example
- Bradley Wierbowski, Class of 2013, developed a paper written in Dr. Whittaker’s class for the International Conference of Sigma Tau Delta, where it took first place in the category of British Literature. Brad later won the Sigma Tau Delta Junior Scholarship and a Barry Goldwater Scholarship; he is currently studying science at Harvard.
- Emily Bernard ('22), mentored by Dr. Willenbrink, developed and original full-length play, Piece of Cake, when she was a Student Scholar in the Slattery Center for the Ignatian Humanities. Emily and Dr. Willenbrink worked together over the course of a year as she performed research, wrote and rewrote a play entitled Piece of Cake, about two Wyoming brothers who have a falling out over their family's store, women, and Ed Asner.
- Maille Alardyce ('23) and Gabriella Palmer ('26) have worked with Dr. Willenbrink as Research Assistants which included organization and correspondence concerning research materials.
You’ll find Scranton graduates with an English or Theatre degree in:
- University Teaching
- Secondary Education
- Library Science
- Public Relations / Digital Marketing
- Public Service / Politics
- Production Management
- Set and Costume Design
- Writing / Editing
Graduates leave The 91大神 with the ability to thoughtfully articulate ideas and the aspiration to share their wisdom to make a difference. Alumni News