Skip to main content

Meet the Faculty in the Department of Literary Arts

The full-time and part-time faculty members in the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice have extensive expertise in a wide range of disciplines including American and British literature, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, linguistics, women's studies, composition, public speaking and more. Learn about their wealth of knowledge, research interests and classes they teach, featured below.

Full-Time Faculty

Pictured is Sarah Perrier, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Literary Arts and associate professor of English. | Photo submitted by Perrier Sarah Perrier, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Literary Arts
Associate Professor

  • Author of two collections of poetry, Nothing Fatal and Just One of Those Things
  • Research interests include creative writing, contemporary American poetry, poetics and contemporary fiction
  • Recent course offerings include poetry workshops, 21st Century Poets and Major Authors: Sylvia Plath

Pictured is Barbara Barrow, Ph.D., assistant professor of British Literature. | Photo by Jim Judkis Barbara Barrow, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Coordinator, Literature Program

  • Book author of The Quelling, short fiction and journal articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, The Forge Literary Magazine, Folio,Victorian Poetry, Journal of Victorian Culture, Victorian Periodicals Review and Nineteenth-Century Contexts
  • Research interests include Victorian literature and culture, literature and science, women and gender and poetry and politics
  • Teaches British literature, world literature, literary criticism, college composition and The English Novel

Pictured is Amy Kim Bell, professor of linguistics and modern languages. | Photo submitted by BellAmy Kim Bell, M.A.


  • Worked as a professional translator with agencies in New York, Atlanta and Pittsburgh and founded an organization of local ESL teachers which became formally affiliated with the international TESOL organization
  • Research interests are second language acquisition, teaching English to speakers of other languages and curricular development
  • Teaches classes in linguistics, language acquisition, Spanish and English

Pictured is Karen Dwyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. | Photo by Chris Rolinson Karen Dwyer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Coordinator, Creative Writing Program

  • Published works include "Ancient Texts" in Red Orchard Review, "The Smoker" in Triquarterly Review and "If and Then" in Zoetrope: One Story
  • Research interests are the contemporary short story and hysterical realism and the surreal in the contemporary novel
  • Teaches courses in fiction writing, creative nonfiction, contemporary literature, world literature, American literature and the short story

Pictured is Chris Girman, Ph.D., assistant professor of literary arts at Point Park University. | Photo by John AltdorferChris Girman, Ph.D., J.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Published the books The Chili Papers and Mucho Macho: Seduction, Desire, and the Homoerotic Lives of Latin Men
  • Research interests include theories of nonfiction, magical realism and masculinity theory
  • Teaches creative writing and creative nonfiction classes as well as beginner and advanced nonfiction workshops

Pictured is Kirstin Hanley, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric and director of the University's writing program. | Photo by Jim JudkisKirstin Hanley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Director, Composition Program

  • Published pieces include Mary Wollstonecraft, Pedagogy and the Practice of Feminism, "Didacticism" and "'A New Servitude': Pedagogy and Feminist Practice in Brontë's Jane Eyre"
  • Research interests involve the intersections between proto-feminist literatures and composition studies
  • Teaches English Composition I & II, writing studio, senior seminar, college composition, romanticism and effective speech

Pictured is Jessica McCort, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric. | Photo by John AltdorferJessica McCort, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Coordinator, Writing Intensive Program

  • Published pieces include Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children's Literature and Culture, "Breaking the Glass Slipper" and "Edward Gorey: The Humour in Children's Horror"
  • Research interests are gothic and horror in children's and young adult literature and culture, fairy tales and fairy-tale revisions, Sylvia Plath and girls' cultures and girls' reading practices
  • Teaches College Composition and Honors College Composition

Pictured is P.K. Weston, Ed.D., professor of composition and literature and director of the English program. | Photo submitted by Weston P.K. Weston, Ed.D.


  • Research interests include Emerson and contemporary critical theory
  • Teaches courses in American, British and world literature, literary criticism, public speaking, advanced oral communication and English composition
  • Elected president of the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh, only the fourth woman in the organization's 101-year history to be elected president

Part-Time Faculty

Jessica Benigni Bowers
Pat Boyle
Guiliana Patricia Certo
Marilyn Davidson
Amanda Denman
Diana Marie Dill
Matthew Fazio
Robert Fowler
Catherine Houghton
Paul Houghton
Jeaneen K. Kish
James Leary
Jonathan Manning
Abby Mendelson
Bridgette Nofsinger
Joseph Onesta
Geoff Peck
Sandra Pyle
James Rosenberg
Fred Shaw
Jill Walter
Kellie D. Weiss-Strasburg


Kristene Julian, secretary
Office Phone: 412-392-8068
Office: 706 Lawrence Hall