The English Department is proud to have the following talented and interesting people regularly teach with us on a part-time basis:
Keel Geheber is originally from Baton Rouge and has just returned to the Gulf South after 13 years away. He completed his B.S. in mechanical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy in 2004, taught English at a technical Lycée in Nancy, France, and then made the full leap into literary studies. He completed his M.Phil. at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, filled in for a year as the director of the James Joyce Centre, and then earned his Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin in 2013. Keel specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century British, Irish, and French fiction with a particular expertise in James Joyce and Émile Zola. His book manuscript, based on his dissertation, is entitled Joyce, Realism, and the Nineteenth-Century French Novel and examines the development of Joyce’s narrative style through comparisons with the novels of Stendhal, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola. At USM, he teaches Technical Writing and World Literature. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and soccer player, and when there’s time he learns to play metal riffs on his guitar.
Jerry Giddens: Prior to arriving at USM Gulf Coast in 2014, Jerry did his graduate work in English at Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D. 2007) and California State University, Long Beach (M.A. 2004). As an undergraduate, he majored in Social Studies Education at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and graduated in 1976. He was the recipient of the Claremont Graduate University Trans-disciplinary Dissertation Grant Award in 2007 for Richard Brautigan: A Literary and Cultural Biography. His piece “Agent and Act: Richard Brautigan’s The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966.” will be published this year in American Political Fiction from the University of Tennessee Press. He continues to work in biography, and he is currently working on multi-media productions focused on the life and times of Kid Ory, a seminal New Orleans Jazzman. Jerry’s years on the road, as a touring musician, help explain the years separating his undergraduate and graduate studies. Now, he is excited to bring his experiences, as an artist and scholar, to the classroom at USM.
Leah Holmes teaches composition and literature courses, as well as electives such as Technical Writing and Traditional Grammar. She earned her B.A. in English from Louisiana State University and her M.A. in English from USM Gulf Coast. Though originally from Long Beach, she has lived in Poplarville since 2002 when she and her husband left the coast to pursue her doctoral studies in English at USM in Hattiesburg. Her research interests include all things British but especially Victorian Sensationalism, London street literature, depictions of crime in the Victorian press, iconography of death, disease, poverty, and skeletons, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Industrial novels, and Downton Abbey. Upon discovering the joys of playing with fire, she halted work on her doctoral dissertation in 2008, electing instead to launch her own glass company, Leah Holmes Lampwork Studio: Designer Glass Beads and Silversmithing (www.leah-holmes.com).
Catherine Tibbs teaches World Literature and is Director of the Live Oak Writing Project. Her years as a middle school and high school teacher in Hancock County and Madison County give her a background that works well with her position. She works closely with school districts to plan and provide quality staff development. The focus of her work is in helping teachers develop expertise in writing instruction and instruction in literacy. Her work encompasses kindergarten through secondary teachers.
Michele Williams works at the Gulf Coast Think Center in the USM-GC library as the Instructional Development Specialist. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tennessee and a Masters degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology here at USM. My research interests include instructor feedback to academic writing, and my literary interests include twentieth century American poetry and Russian literature.