Academics > Faculty

English Faculty

Kate Aspengren
Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
B.A., The University of Iowa
M.F.A., The University of Iowa, Playwrights Workshop
Phone: 319-399-8302
Email: kaspengr@coe.edu

Kate Aspengren's plays include Flyer, Rule of Nines, Too Fast to Fall, Adrift, and Blue Yonder. Her work has been published by Samuel French, Inc. and has been produced throughout the United States and Canada, including productions by Actors Theatre of Louisville, The New American Comedy Festival, Three Graces Theatre Company and Six Figures Theatre Company.  She teaches annually in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and holds a yearly residency at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware.

Charles Aukema
Professor of English
A.B., Calvin College
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop
Phone: 319-399-8539
Email: caukema@coe.edu

In addition to teaching creative writing, Professor Aukema teaches computer applications in writing. These applications include writing hypertext fiction. He is the founder of The Coe Review, the college's nationally known literary magazine.

Robert D. Drexler
Whipple Professor of English
B.A., Amherst College
M.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Phone: 319-399-8695
Email: rdrexler@coe.edu

Author of two poetry chapbooks, Dr. Drexler has been director of the ACM Japan studies Program, director of the India Studies Program at Puna, and a Fulbright Lecturer at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. He teaches Early Modern British, Medieval English, 20th Century British, Irish and Asian Literature.

Audrey Golden

Audrey Golden
Assistant Professor of English
B.A., Wesleyan University
J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Email: agolden@coe.edu

Audrey Golden teaches 20th- and 21st-century British and world Anglophone literature. Her research focuses on human rights, international law, and global fiction. She has published essays on restorative justice and trauma in literature, which have appeared in Law, Culture and the Humanities, The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, and the Wake Forest Law Review.

Gina Hausknecht
John William King Professor of Literature and Creative Writing
Associate Dean of the Learning Commons
B.A., Oberlin College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan
Phone: 319-399-8417
Email: ghauskne@coe.edu

Dr. Hausknecht teaches early modern British literature, including Shakespeare, British Renaissance poetry, and the Milton seminar. She also regularly teaches in the gender studies and First Year Seminar programs. She has published articles on Milton, 17th century literature and culture, pedagogy and technology, and girls in contemporary popular culture.

Gordon Mennenga
Assistant Professor of English
B.A., University of Northern Iowa
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop
Phone: 319-399-8134
Email: gmenneng@coe.edu

Professor Mennenga is a fiction writer whose short story, "Peepers" won a Nelson Algren Award. He has written monologues for Garrison Keilor and a film based on a monlogues was released in 1999. Professor Mennenga teaches film and creative writing and is the academic advisor for Coe's nationally circulated magazine, the Coe Review. His academic interests include hip hop music and popular culture.

Patrick Naick
Associate Professor of English
B.A., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Purdue University
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Phone: 319-399-8136
Email: pnaick@coe.edu

Patrick Naick's teaching and research focuses on 20th century American literature and culture with specific interests in African American literature and urban studies.  He also serves as coordinator for the American Studies and African American Studies program.

Nana Nkweti

Nana Nkweti
Visiting Assistant Professor of English
A.A., Raitan Technical University
B.A., Rutgers College
M.F.A., University of Iowa
Email: nnkweti@coe.edu

Amber Shaw
Assistant Professor of English
B.A., Rhodes College
M.A., Ph.D., The University of Georgia
Phone: 319-399-8058
Email: ashaw@coe.edu

Dr. Shaw studies nineteenth-century American and Victorian literature and is particularly interested in the history of the novel, material culture, and gender studies. She teaches courses at Coe on early and nineteenth-century American literature, nineteenth-century fiction, American women writers, the Black Atlantic, and transnationalism across the long nineteenth century. Her recent essays appear in The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review and Crossings in Text and Textile (UPNE 2015).

Melissa Sodeman
Associate Professor of English, Chair
B.A., University of Washington, Seattle
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Phone: 319-399-8696
Email: msodeman@coe.edu

Melissa Sodeman teaches courses on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature at Coe. Other interests include women writers, the history of the novel, book history, and (increasingly) environmental literature. Her book, Sentimental Memorials: Women and the Novel in Literary History, was published by Stanford University Press in 2015, and her essays have appeared in SEL, ELH, and Modern Philology. Her current research, which grows out of her interest in the intertwined histories of books and affect, investigates how books mediated an intensifying love of nature in the later eighteenth century.

Nick Twemlow
Assistant Professor of English

B.G.S., University of Kansas
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Film & Video Production
Phone: 319-399-8695
Email: ntwemlow@coe.edu

Professor Twemlow teaches creative writing and film. His first collection of poems, Palm Trees (Green Lantern Press, 2012), won the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His poems have been published in A Public Space, Best American Non-required Reading, Boston Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His film and video works have played Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, Athens, and many other film festivals. He is the recipient of a Princess Grace Honorarium in Filmmaking. He is a senior editor for The Iowa Review and co-edits Canarium Books.

Emeritus and Retired Faculty:

Terry Heller
Howard Hall Professor of English, Emeritus
A.B., North Central College 
A.M., Ph.D., University of Chicago

Dr. Heller is author of The Delights of Terror and The Turn of the Screw: Bewildered Vision, and editor of Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Fiction. He has written reference articles, short fiction, and literary journal essays. He is the manager of the on-line archive, the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project.

Ann Struthers
National Fellowship Advisor
B.A., Morningside College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa
Phone: 319-399-8615
Email: astruthe@coe.edu

Dr. Struthers is the author of two chapbooks and two collections of poetry. She has published numerous book reviews, articles in literature reference books, academic essays and short fiction and was Writer in Residence at Coe for many years. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Syria and in Sri Lanka, and is the faculty advisor for students and faculty who apply for Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman, Rhodes and Marshall Fellowships.