Janine Utell

Janine Utell is Associate Professor and Chair of English at Widener University in Chester, PA, USA, where she teaches composition and 19th and 20th century British literature; she also plays an active role in general education and assessment, as well as advocating for greater visibility for the humanities. Her research focuses on the representation of intimate life in narrative; she is currently writing a book examining the relationships among intimacy and narrative in dual biography. Her first book, James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire, was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2010. Higher ed interests include writing pedagogy, general education, assessment, and the role of women in leadership and professional development.

Janine received her Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York in 2003; while working on her doctorate she also taught at LaGuardia Community College, Hofstra University, and Yeshiva University. She has spent most of her adult life moving up and down the Northeast Corridor and is proud to say she has lived in every US city that has ever been named the nation's capital, however temporarily (NY, DC, and now Philadelphia); she's been lucky enough to work for extended periods in Ireland and Germany as well. She is also a foodie and a crazy cat lady. Get in touch by email or Twitter: janine.utell@gmail.com / @janineutell

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Most Recent Articles

June 23, 2013
How to measure faculty performance.
April 21, 2013
The last few weeks at my university have seen the usual busyness that comes with the end of the semester amplified by a lot of change.
January 13, 2013
I'm not a big television watcher, especially when baseball is in the off-season, but I am a Food Network junkie. This semester, my rethinking feedback (how to give it, what it should focus on, how it contributes to the conversation of a course) while also watching "Chopped" and "Next Iron Chef: Redemption" got me noticing how the programming on the channel is actually focused a lot on giving feedback.
November 14, 2012
One chilly day in November, with a few morning hours surprisingly free of meetings or classes, I decided to stay home later into the day than usual due to what felt like an impending sinus infection (thereby putting the lie to all my fantasies of omnipotence).  I lead a book discussion group on women's life writing at a local public library, and in honor of election season our selection this month was Janny Scott's A Singular Woman, the biography of Barack Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham.
September 11, 2012
As we begin a new school year, I'm sure many of us are prompted to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead.  Perhaps you are taking on a new leadership role or confronting some other professional change which brings both anticipation and apprehension.  For those of you looking for answers or inspiration, might I suggest you turn to Joyce Carol Oates' most recent novel Mudwoman?
June 3, 2012
My dissertation director died recently, and thanks to my proximity to New York I was able to attend his memorial service. A series of moving tributes from family and colleagues amplified what I already knew to be true about him: he was a committed teacher, an immensely learned and generous scholar, and he was always and constantly those things, whether lecturing at the local public library on the classics or leading graduate students through the labyrinth of Finnegans Wake.
March 23, 2012
These days I'm a little obsessed with Moneyball, the book and the film. Michael Lewis's story of the transformation of the Oakland A's through data-driven decision-making and a commitment to rethinking the game even in the face of resistance from old-school scouts isn't inspiring in the way we think of come-from-behind, underdog sports stories.
January 12, 2012
In response to my last post, I received a thoughtful email from a colleague (an administrator) reflecting on the difference between managing and leading. This has been a theme for a lot of our on-campus professional development directed at faculty moving into administrative roles.
October 18, 2011
I like being here when it’s unnervingly deserted. It’s a great time to make sure I’m up to speed on everything, and plan for the week ahead. I especially needed this time to regroup and catch up because of the way the previous week ended.Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with an obnoxious flurry of emails for which I would like to right now offer a public apology to all my colleagues. They are generous, patient, and I enjoy working with them. I don’t want them to dread seeing me in their inbox.
August 9, 2011
Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We’ve all worked with that person. That person is a drag....In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful accidents. -- Tina Fey, Bossypants 


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