Principal Organizers:

Catharine Wright, Assistant Director of Writing, Center for Teaching, Learning and Research, Middlebury College

Susan Burch, Associate professor, Department of American Studies, Director of the Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, Middlebury College

Project Coordinator:

Karla Van Vliet, Poet, Coordinator of New England Young Writer’s Conference, Middlebury College

Weblog Consultant:

Erin Rokey, Middlebury College, class of 2010

Collaborating Campus Organizers:

Angela C. Halfacre, Associate professor, Political Science/Sustainability, Furman University

Lee Rumbarger, Visiting assistant professor, Department of English, Writing Center Director, Vassar College

Michael Sinowitz, Associate professor, English department, Writing Program Coordinator, DePauw University

Kimberly S. Drake, Director of the Writing Program, Visiting associate professor, Scripps College

Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Assistant professor, Department of Classics, Denison University



Susan Burch,  Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of American Studies at Middlebury College and the director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. She is a cofounder and board member of the Disability History Association and has served on the Society for Disability Studies’ Board of Directors. Her work has been acknowledged with several awards, including a Mellon Seminar Fellowship and a Fulbright lecturing award. She is the author of Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II (2002); co-editor of Double Visions: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Women and Deafness (2006); co-author of Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson (2007); editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of American Disability History (2009); and co-editor of At the Intersections: Deaf Meets Disability Studies (2010). She teaches and studies issues of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, and disability in American, Russian, and global contexts. She incorporates multiple disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches in all of her work, in which oral history, social history, material culture, sociology, literature, and visual and media culture figure prominently.

Catharine Wright, MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, brings research and experience in the arts, social justice education, sustainability and contemplative practice to her teaching in the Writing and Creative Writing Programs, English Department, and Women and Gender Studies Department at Middlebury College. She co-directed Middlebury’s Project for Integrated Expression for first generation college students, served on the admissions board of Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and as Posse mentor, participated in Mellon and Teagle-funded grant projects on Social Justice Education and Writing Across the Curriculum, and collaboratively organizes and facilitates events for Middlebury faculty on a range of pedagogies. Publications include a non-fiction book, Vermonters At Their Craft (New England Press, 1987), fiction in literary magazines such as Negative Capability and Phoebe, articles on contemplative practice and the arts in Zen Bow, Studio Potter, The New Mexican, and New England’s Faculty Development Exchange, and a co-edited collection: Social Justice Education: Inviting Faculty to Transform Their Institutions (Stylus Publications, 2010).

Angela C. Halfacre

For almost fifteen years, Angela Half acre has been creating or nurturing environmental and sustainability programs on college campuses and within their surrounding communities. She is currently the Director of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability and an associate professor of political science. Before returning to Furman, her alma mater, in 2008, she spent ten years at the College of Charleston as a political science professor and director of the graduate program in Environmental Studies. She earned her PhD from the University of Florida. At Furman, she teaches courses in environmental policy, sustainability, and research methods. Halfacre also coordinates several curricular and co-curricular programs (teaching, research, and communications) related to sustainability on campus and in the local community, and recently provided an ongoing faculty Mellon funded workshop to infuse sustainability concepts into existing courses. Her research and publications examine public perceptions of sustainability issues, community governance, and environmental decision-making. She has published several peer-reviewed journal articles, and is currently completing a University of South Carolina Press book examining environmental perceptions in the low country region of South Carolina. Halfacre coordinates Furman’s Sustainability Planning Council, chairs The Duke Endowment Task Force on Sustainability, and serves on several boards of local and national environmental organizations.

Lee Rumbarger

Lee Rumbarger is director of the Vassar College Writing Center. She teaches writing process and pedagogy for Vassar’s interdisciplinary College Course program, and literature and writing as a visiting assistant professor of English. Her current research examines a pedagogical project on the part of women modernists Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf to train a larger public as readers and writers: she argues that their popular texts addressing and redressing the academy’s failure to teach nontraditional students, as Stein would say, “how writing is written,” present a surprisingly radical vision of an unbounded writing classroom. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2006.

At Vassar, Lee meets individually with student and faculty writers, has initiated the campus-wide Conversations on Writing series, and enjoys working with the Writing Center’s student consultants, particularly in their roles as designated course consultants. She says she wants the Writing Center to serve as a hub where all Vassar writers find support and community.

Michael Sinowitz

Michael Sinowitz took a position at DePauw in 1999 after a two-year stint as a Postdoctoral Lecturer at the University of Miami. His dissertation, “Waking into History: Forms of the Postmodern Novel,” was completed at Miami in 1997. Previous to his graduate work at the
University of Miami, he received undergraduate degrees in English and History from Boston University. He has published “The Western as Postmodern Satiric History: Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man in Clio, “The Benefits of Watching the Circus Animals Desert: Myth, Yeats, and Patriarchy in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus” in the collection, Clio and Her Sisters (Palgrave), and, most recently, “Graham Greene’s and Carol Reed’s The Third Man: When a Cowboy Comes to Vienna” in Modern Fiction Studies. He is currently working on a book length project entitled “Body Politics: History, Genre, and the Body in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin Series.” His teaching interests include genre fiction and film, British literature (both Modernism and contemporary fiction), James Joyce, and literary theory.

Kimberly S. Drake

Kimberly Drake received her Ph.D. in English from U.C. Berkeley and currently directs the writing program and teaches American literature and writing at Scripps College. She has recently completed a book on trauma theory and constructions of subjectivity in Depression-era protest novels, and she is also working on a project on social determinism in the detective novel. Other research interests include prison literature and pedagogy, punk rock music and literature, and slave narratives.

Rebecca Futo Kennedy

Professor Kennedy received her BA from University of California, San Diego (’97) in Classical Studies and her MA (’99) and PhD (’03) from The Ohio State University in Greek and Latin. Before coming to Denison, she taught at Howard University, George Washington University and Union College. Her research interests include Athenian political history of the 5th century BC, Greek and Roman historiography and the influence of Persian imperialism on Athenian (and Greek) culture. Professor Kennedy’s first book, Athena’s Justice (Lang Classical Series, 2009) engages the questions of justice and the law courts as a part of Athenian political identity and the way in which they were represented on the tragic stage. Her current projects include a book-length study of the relationship between imperialism, ethnocentrism and democracy in ancient Athens as seen in tragedy and other public art and articles on the historical methods of Thucydides and Herodotus.


Karla Van Vliet

Karla Van Vliet attended Bennington College and finished her BA at Goddard College.  She received her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College.  Van Vliet is in her tenth year as Administrative Coordinator for the New England Young Writer’s Conference at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Campus.  She is the sole-proprietor of Van Vliet Arts where she has brought together her work in jewelry design, painting, and poetry.  Her art work and jewelry is represented by several Vermont galleries and she has published poetry in national magazines including Painted Bride Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Dry Creek Review, and Many Mountains Moving. She recently published a book of poems, The River From My Mouth (North of Eden Press, 2010).  As well, Van Vliet is an Archetypal Dreamwork Therapist and is a teacher at North of Eden.