- Linfield College

English Faculty

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt - Professor

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt  Professor


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN B.A., College of St. Catherine, St.Paul, MN

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt received her Ph.D. from University of Minnesota in English, specializing in postcolonial literature and theory. She also holds a M.A. degree in Creative Writing. Her scholarly and creative works have been published in the Journal of Asian American Renaissance, Jouvert: Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Saranac Review, South Asian Review, Rocky Mountain Review, ARIEL, Academe, Journal of Academic Freedom and others. She is the author of the book, The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant published in 2010. The book has garnered much attention internationally, and she has been featured in OPB and KABOO.

Dutt-Ballerstadt’s teaching, and scholarly interests are in the areas of postcolonial literature and theory, Black British literature,  critical race theory, US and transnational ethnic and diasporic studies, transnational feminisms, creative writing  and their various intersections with race, nation, class, gender and sexuality in both the U.S. and in a global context. As a scholar-activist she frequently writes and engages about diversity and equity related issues in higher education impacting marginalized faculty and students. 

She is the recipient of the "Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award," and "Marvin and Laurie Henberg International Scholarship Award." She also received the "Outstanding Faculty Award" given for excellence in teaching and mentoring from Linfield's Multicultural Center.

Dutt-Ballerstadt is currently working on two book projects. The first is a monograph titled as 9/11 Literatures: The Anxious Canon. The second project is an edited collection of essays, Civility, Free Speech and Academic Freedom in Higher Education: Faculty on the Margins forthcoming from Routledge in 2020. She is also working on a poetry manuscript titled as Discontinuities that explores themes of migration, home, memory, loss and belonging. As a public intellectual Dutt-Ballerstadt's writings can be read in Inside Higher Ed, Counterpunch, Truthout and in her blog Being Brown and Out/Raged.

In addition to being a faculty at Linfield, Dutt-Ballerstadt also serves as a Delve Seminars guide for Portland's Literary Arts where she has offered seminars on Jhumpa Lahiri and Moshin Mamid, Viet Thanh Nguyen. 

Dutt-Ballerstadt also serves as the Co-Coordinator of the Gender Studies minor at Linfield


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Jamie Friedman - Assistant Professor

Jamie Friedman  Assistant Professor

TJ Day 315



B.A., English and French, Whitworth University; M.A., English, Portland State University; M.A., Medieval Studies, Cornell University; Ph.D., Medieval Studies, Cornell University

Jamie Friedman joined the English faculty in 2016 with a PhD in Medieval Studies from Cornell University. Her teaching interests include courses on early British literature, introductory and advanced literary criticism, medieval and modern women writers, racial and religious diversity in medieval literature, LGBT studies, and film studies. She is particularly interested in the intersections between medieval and modern, canon and margin, sacred and profane. Having previously taught at several institutions before coming to Linfield, Dr. Friedman’s teaching has garnered Dean’s Commendations (Whitworth University), a selection as First Lecturer (Westmont College), Knight Writing Institute recognition and the James E. Rice Jr. Prize (Cornell).

Dr. Friedman specializes in the identity politics of fourteenth-century Middle English literature, especially where medieval representations converse with contemporary feminist, gender, sexuality, and race studies. Her <a href=

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Anna M.  Keesey - Associate Professor

Anna M.  Keesey  Associate Professor

TJ Day 311



B.A. Stanford University 1984 K-12 Teaching Credential, UC Berkeley, 1986 M.F.A. in Writing, University of Iowa, 1994

Anna Keesey teaches creative writing and literature, as well the first-year Inquiry Seminar, including "Creative Writing: Fiction," "Alternate Realities in the Short Story," "Ancient Sources for Contemporary Writers," and "Narrative Studies: Essentials and Variations." She supervises creative writing majors as they research, compose and revise original book-length theses for their senior-year capstone projects. She writes fiction and literary nonfiction, and her work has appeared a number of journals and anthologies, including the Los Angeles Review of Books and Houghton Mifflin's Best American Short Stories series. Her novel Little Century, set in the high desert of Central Oregon at the turn of the 20th century, was published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, NY, in  2012. She lives in McMinnville with her partner, biologist Chris Gaiser, and their 13-year-old. They have two other grown children.

Professor Keesey's Web Page

Matthew Minicucci - Visiting Emerging Writer Teacher Fellow

Matthew Minicucci  Visiting Emerging Writer Teacher Fellow


  • B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • M.F.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Matthew Minicucci’s most recent collection, Small Gods (New Issues), won the 2019 Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His first book, Translation (Kent State University Press), was chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize. His poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from numerous journals including The Believer, POETRY, The Southern Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the C. Hamilton Bailey Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Stanley P. Young Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a Writer-in-Residence fellowship from the James Merrill House. This past summer he served as the 43rd Dartmouth Poet-in-Residence.

Professor Minicucci's Web Page

Rachel Norman - Assistant Professor / Director of Writing

Rachel Norman  Assistant Professor / Director of Writing

TJ Day Hall 314



  • B.A., English and Spanish, Linfield College
  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Rachel Norman specializes in Middle Eastern diasporic studies and U.S. literary and cultural studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. Her teaching and research interests include multiethnic global and American literature, contemporary literature, and sociolinguistics. In her current book project, Rachel examines the role of language choices in multilingual texts from the Arab diaspora in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Previously, she taught at the University of North Carolina and the University of Seville in Spain and served on the editorial teams for the International Journal of Middle East Studies and Mashriq & Mahjar. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Arab American Studies Association. Recent peer-reviewed publications include an essay on Arab diasporic literature in the journal Amerasia and  

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner - Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner  Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies

Day Hall 318



  • B.A. in History, Yale University, 2001
  • Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 2010

Dr. Pollack-Pelzner loves to teach Shakespeare, guiding students to explore the plays on the page, stage, and screen. He also teaches courses on Sex and Power in the Renaissance, Secret Lives in Victorian Literature, and History Plays from Henry V to Hamilton. During January Term, he offers an experiential course on theater in Portland. In 2016, he received a Graves Award for outstanding teaching in the humanities at a liberal arts college.

Dr. Pollack-Pelzner’s research explores Shakespeare adaptations: how writers transform Shakespeare’s model into literary forms that speak to their own cultural moment and shape what we mean by “Shakespeare” today. He has published scholarly articles about Shakespeare and the British novel, and his articles on Shakespeare and contemporary culture have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.

Born and raised in Oregon, Dr. Pollack-Pelzner lectures frequently at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is the scholar-in-residence at the Portland Shakespeare Project. He is also the Shakespeare Scholar for the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and a consulting scholar for Advancing Gender Equity in the Arts.

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David Thomas Sumner - Professor of English and Environmental Studies, English Department Chair

David Thomas Sumner  Professor of English and Environmental Studies, English Department Chair

TJ Day 316



  • B.A. University of Utah
  • M.A. Brigham Young University
  • Ph.D. University of Oregon

Professor Sumner loves teaching, discussing, and writing about books, landscapes, and the American West. He offers courses such as Literature and Landscape, and a travel course called The Literary Biology of the Sea of Cortez. In this course, he travels with students to Baja, Mexico and follows the path of John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts. In the fall of 2020, he will be teaching an Inquiry Seminar INQS 125: In Search of the Goodlife, and his version of the literature major's senior seminar: "Nature's Nation: An Ecocritical Perspective."

Professor Sumner is the author of a variety of academic articles on topics such as American nature writing, the American nature tradition, environmental ethics, the use and abuse of the term “ecoterrorism,” writing pedagogy, rhetoric, and the novels of Edward Abbey. In addition to teaching at Linfield for the past 16 years, he has been fortunate to also teach at the University of Bayreuth, Germany on a Fulbright fellowship, and as a member of the faculty for Semester at Sea while circumnavigating the globe aboard the M.S. Explorer .

When not teaching and writing, Professor Sumner enjoys backpacking and flyfishing with family and playing bluegrass with the other members of the Bootleg Jam.

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Joe Wilkins - Director of Creative Writing / Professor of English and Environmental Studies

Joe Wilkins  Director of Creative Writing / Professor of English and Environmental Studies

TJ Day Hall 319



  • M.F.A in Creative Writing, The University of Idaho, 2007
  • B.S. in Computer Engineering, Honors, Gonzaga University, 2002

Professor Wilkins believes in the power of writing to help us understand and shape experience and, thereby, to better know and care for one another and our shared world. Wilkins directs the creative writing program at Linfield University and teaches courses in creative writing, American literature, environmental studies, and inquiry seminar. While he just plain loves teaching, some of his favorite courses include ENGL 421: Advanced Topics in Creative Writing, ENGL/BIOL 289: Northwest Ecology and Environmental Writing, and ENGL 250: Darkness on the Edge of Town: Rural America in Contemporary Literature.

Professor Wilkins writes across the genres and is the author of a novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, praised as “remarkable and unforgettable” in a starred review at Booklist and short-listed for the First Novel Award from the Center For Fiction and the Pacific Northwest Book Award. He is also the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and four collections of poetry, including When We Were Birds, winner of the Oregon Book Award, and, most recently, Thieve. His work has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Polish, and his stories, essays, and poems have been widely anthologized.

Professor Wilkins lives a short bike ride north of campus with his wife, Liz, his son, Walter, and his daughter, Edie. Together, they enjoy exploring the coast, rivers, and mountains of Oregon.


Professor Wilkins's Web Page