Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

English Department

Meet the Faculty of the Department of English

Full-Time Faculty


Shouhua Qi, Ph.D. 
Department Chairperson
Professor of English

Office: White Hall 126B
Phone: 203-837-9048

Teaching and Research Interests: 19th Century English Literature; transcultural adaptation; the English novel; American short fiction; literary translation; and creative writing. Dr. Qi’s research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals (The Cambridge Quarterly, Comparative Drama, Classical Receptions Journal, International Theatre Research, The Ibsen Review, The Eugene O’Neill Review, The Hardy Review, and Literature Compass). He is the author of more than 20 books, including fiction, nonfiction, literary translation, as well as scholarly monographs. His most recent books include Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage (Routledge, 2018), The Bronte Sisters in Other Wor(l)ds (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Western Literature in China and the Translation of a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Dr. Qi served as coordinator of the MA in English program (2007-2015) and is the recipient of CSU Board of Trustees Research Award (2007). He is serving on the Editorial Board of The Thomas Hardy Journal and The Hardy Society.





Heather Levy, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Office: White Hall 126E
Phone: 203-837-3272

Teaching and Research Interests: 20th-century British literature, esp. Woolf; Modernist Women’s Literature; Narratives of the Sea: Melville and Conrad.

 Dr. Levy is intensely interested in the work of Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Katherine Mansfield and Henry James. She is currently     working on a manuscript which investigates how class influences the occupation of space and the articulation of working class desire in Virginia Woolf’s shorter fiction. She is also editing a collection of essays which examines the question of provisional bliss in same sex relationships in twentieth century literature. She is an avid glass cockpit aviator and enjoys freshwater and sea kayaking, swimming and caring for greyhounds since they are the latest incarnation of Jane Austen without the fuss.

Joint Appointment

Donald P. Gagnon, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Office: VPAC 247
Phone: 203-837-9062

Teaching and Research Interests: American literature and theatre; African American literature and theatre; lgbtq+ literature and theatre. 

Dr. Don Gagnon earned his Ph.D. in English/Literature at the University of South Florida, where he taught prior to joining the WestConn English faculty. His fields of research include American literature, modern drama, and African American literature, with additional background and interest in LGBTQ literature and theatre. Holding a dual appointment in both the English and Theatre Arts departments, he was the inaugural recipient of the university’s Outstanding Teacher award. He also teaches for the Kathwari Honors program and has co-created courses that have taken WCSU students to Paris and London. He has published and presented fiction and criticism on a wide variety of topics in a wide variety of venues and is the editor of an anthology on Oscar Hammerstein II. In addition, he has served as board representative to the Northeast Modern Language Association and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, for which he leads a criticism workshop, and he is active as advisor to the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

Adjunct Faculty 

Deatra Anderson

 Deatra Haimé Anderson teaches for the English and Writing departments at WCSU. She has written popular culture articles for magazines such as Jane, Vibe, Mothering in the Middle, and Mosaic Literary Magazine, where she is also the book reviews  editor. Her current project is co-writing a memoir for Corey Glover, lead singer of the Grammy award-winning band Living Colour.







Leah Begg


Leah’s teaching and research interests include American literature, ecocriticism, gothic and ecogothic, American landscape painting, multimodal composition, and multilingual pedagogy. She has presented papers on James Fenimore Cooper and Thomas Cole, deep ecology and Sarah Orne Jewett, the ecogothic and William Faulkner, and Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla. She was recently published in the Spring 2020 edition of the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal. Leah received her B.A. in English at the University of Pennsylvania, her M.A. in English at WCSU, and is a Ph. D Candidate in English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs where she teaches First-Year Writing and Literature classes.



Hamid El Khalfi


Dr. Hamid El Khalfi holds a Ph.D.  in Literature (English and French Drama), Master of Arts (M.A.) in Drama in addition to a Postgraduate Certificate in Literature from the University of Essex, England. His doctorate has enabled him to teach across disciplines and he has taught English, English Literature, IDS (Interdisciplinary Studies), and various Language courses such as French and Arabic. His credentials in Literature and Linguistics, his multicultural background, and research interests over the past 20 years reflect his passion for communication, world languages, and different cultures.  Alongside his teaching duties, he continues to develop courses and to give presentations on topics within all his fields of expertise.   



Adeline Merrill

Adeline Merrill (EdD, Columbia University and MA in English, Cambridge University) has taught in both the Education and English Departments since 2008. She served as the Education Department Chair for two years and now teaches the Introduction to Drama (Writing Intensive) course for the English and Theatre Arts departments. Throughout her career, she has taught writing to students from grades 6 through the college graduate level.





Robin DeMerell Provey


Robin DeMerell Provey has taught in the English and Writing departments at WCSU since 2013. An award-winning journalist, Robin studied journalism at Pace University, where she received the university’s Print Journalism Award. Robin spent more than a decade in the newsroom and has written for The News-TimesThe Connecticut Law Tribune, and The Rivertowns Enterprise. Since 2013, she has also been the Public Relations consultant for Danbury Public Schools. Robin has an MA in English literature from WCSU, where she is currently pursuing an MFA in Professional and Creative Writing. Her most recent work, “Seeds of #MeToo Planted under the Orange Trees in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath,” was published in the spring 2020 issue of The Steinbeck Review





Danielle Troetti

Danielle Troetti, MA, believes deeply in education as activism for social justice. She has been teaching “Secondary English Methods” and “Teaching Literature in Schools” through WCSU’s English and Education departments since 20212, but the majority of her professional time is spent at Bethel High School where she has worked as an English Teacher, interventionist, literacy specialist, and instructional coach since the last millennium. Her service on district-wide teams as well as adjuncting at WCSU has provided her with experience ranging from preschool through graduate school levels; she is grateful for the perspective that has bestowed up her a teacher, mother, and advocate for learners of all ages. She presented on summer reading at the CT Reading Association Conference, but relishes in and discusses reading year-round with all who will indulge her (especially reluctant students).






Faculty Emeriti/Retirees

Baubles, Raymond, Ph.D., Professor of English Emeritus

Chappell, Michael, Ph.D., Professor of English

Conley, W. Ranson, Ph.D., Professor of English

Dow, Janet, M.A., Professor of English

Govardhan, Anam, Ph.D., Ph.D., Professor of English Emeritus

Jambeck, Karen, Ph.D., Professor of English

Knapp, Elise, Ph.D., Professor of English

Lyman, Jane B., M.F.A., Professor of English

Murray, Margaret, Ph.D., Professor of English

Pruss, Ingrid, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English Emeritus

Skorina, Violet, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English

Sullivan, Margaret, M.A., Professor of English Emeritus