Meet the Faculty

Chris Foley

Christopher Foley is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he teaches primarily on the Gulf Coast campus.  Dr. Foley’s research agenda focuses on the environmental implications of early modern theatrical performance practices.  He is currently at work on two book projects, the first of which analyzes the dramaturgical techniques by which early modern playwrights foregrounded the relationship between vulnerable bodies and wider urban environments for their earliest London audiences.  His second project, tentatively entitled Limits of the Stage, Limits of the Human, examines performances of animality on the early modern stage.  Dr. Foley has published recent articles in Early Modern Literary Studies and for the Map of Early Modern London, which contextualize literature and drama produced in London during the 16th and 17th centuries in relation to the civic challenges of contemporary waste-management.

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Damon Franke

Damon FrankeDamon Franke, Associate Professor of English.  Prior to arriving at USM Gulf Coast in 2004, Damon did his graduate work in English at the University of Iowa (Ph.D. 2003) and the University of Georgia (M.A. 1995).  As an undergraduate, he majored in history at UC Berkeley.  Damon teaches a wide-variety of courses on literature, writing, and critical analysis, and he strives to bring literature to life for his students.  Some of his recent courses include American Literature and Culture of the 1990s, and Literature of New Orleans and Southern Mississippi.  His study of modernism, Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924, was published in 2008 by Ohio State UP, and his articles and reviews have appeared in Studies in the Novel, The James Joyce Quarterly, The Journal of Narrative Theory, Nineteenth-Century Prose, English Language Notes, and SubStance.  He is currently working on two book projects: a study of the philosophy of “becoming” in the works of James Joyce, and a genealogy of environmental thought in Edwardian literature with the working title The Organic Edwardians.  He is also the sponsor of the Gulf Coast chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.

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Dr. Franke's Current CV [PDF]

Rebecca Powell

Rebecca PowellRebecca Powell, an Assistant Professor of English,  and Coast English Program Coordinator, teaches in the English Licensure program. She taught high school English in Oklahoma and Montana before returning to graduate school for her M.A. and Ph.D. at New Mexico State University. Her research interests include adolescent writing experiences, K-16 writing pedagogy, articulation, community literacy, and place studies. Her studies and reviews have appeared in A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, Environmental Rhetorics and the Ecologies of Place, Teaching English in the Two Year College, and Xchanges. Current projects include researching the circulation of writing experiences through people’s lives and communities and the implications of place studies for teacher education. For a complete CV, please click here.

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Will Watson

Wil WatsonWill Watson, Associate Professor of English, has taught American literature and cultural and environmental studies for over twenty years. He received his B.A. from Western Illinois University, and holds a Ph.D. in English from LSU. Watson comes from a family of Chicago and Pittsburgh steelworkers and is the first member of his family to attend college. His scholarship focuses on literary and cinematic representations of strikes, social class and working-class activism in the USA, and his poetry draws on his own years as a Chicago-area  steelworker and longshoreman. His writings have appeared in such journals as GenreLaborNew Laurel Review; Minnesota Review; College Literature; and Women's Studies Quarterly.


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