Welcome to New Faculty – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Welcome to New Faculty

This academic year, the English, Media and Society, and Writing and Rhetoric departments have appointed four new members to the faculty. Each accomplished in her respective fields, the new members encompass a wide range of interests.

Kathryn Cowles has joined the HWS community as an assistant professor of English. Cowles received her B.A. and her M.A. from the University of Utah.  She earned her Ph.D. in English, creative writing and poetry, with her dissertation “Maps and Transcripts” from the University of Utah. Her areas of study focus on creative writing, composition and theory.

Prior to joining the Colleges, Cowles served as an assistant professor of English and poetry at Ohio Northern University, and as a teaching fellow at the University of Utah. In 2008, Cowles published “Eleanor, Eleanor, not your real name,” which received the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Book Prize and the Best Poetry Book Prize (Reader’s Choice) in Salt Lake City Weekly. In addition to her book, Cowles has been published in literary journals and anthologies, and has presented her work at art shows in Salt Lake City.

Hannah Dickinson is serving the campus as a new assistant professor of writing and rhetoric. Dickinson received her B.A. from Haverford College and her M.A. from The City College of New York. She recently earned her Ph.D. through a joint program in English and education at the University of Michigan, with her dissertation “Composing Violence: Student Talk, University Discourse, and the Politics of Witnessing.

Dickinson served as an instructor and graduate student mentor in the English department of writing program at the University of Michigan before joining the Colleges, and also acted as an assistant teacher with the university’s School of Education. Dickinson received a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Michigan. She has contributed to publications such as Kairos and Reading Research Quarterly.

Assistant Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer has been a member of the HWS faculty since 2008. Shafer received her A.B. and M.A. from Cornell University. She earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance at Cornell, with her dissertation “Brand Name Vision: Comedy and Props in the Films of John Hughes.”

Shafer has served as an instructor in the department of Cinema, Photography and Media arts at Ithaca College and as an instructor and campus coordinator at Bard Prison Initiative. Shafer’s areas of interest include visual culture, new media, television history, celebrity culture, digital humanities and media literacy. Recently, Shafer shot and directed an experimental video, “Sentiments and Usurpations,” at the 2010 Seneca Falls Dialogues Conference. She has also served as co-curator of a local film festival, and assisted in the direction of several Cornell theater department plays.

Shafer has been published in several journals including Women and Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory, Transnational Cinemas, and Reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture.

Margaret Werner joined the Colleges as an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric. Werner received her B.A. and M.A. from Illinois State University.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, with her dissertation “Intervention: (Re)articulating LGBT Social-Movement Identities.”

Werner has published book reviews in the Rhetoric Review, and has contributed to textbooks on teaching and rhetoric. She has presented on rhetoric and gender identity at conferences throughout the U.S., including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, where she has presented three times.  While in graduate school at the University of Arizona, Werner gained teaching experience as a graduate assistant in teaching.

In the photo above, Kathryn Cowles (center) and other new faculty members attend an orientation to campus.