Arts & Humanities

English - Faculty 

Beate Gilliar
Dr. Beate Gilliar
Department Chair

Dr. Beate Gilliar grew up in Germany, where she pursued degrees in English and music before completing her undergraduate (B.A. in English) and graduate studies at the University of Arizona. There she also received an M.A in teaching English as a second language and an M.A. in German, followed by a Ph.D. from the English Department. 

Her book A Rhetoric of (Re)Unification: Constructing Identity through East and West German Newspapers presents a series of critical analyses of the political rhetoric of East and West German newspapers that relate directly to the public attitudes toward reunification. These analyses offer insights into how mass media represent political developments in light of contrasting political ideologies and purposes. By using rhetoric and hermeneutics as methods of inquiry, this book explores how public discourse advanced social emancipation. 

Professor Gilliar’s scholarly and creative projects have appeared in academic journals and anthologies, and explore how rhetoric, composition, ESL, Native American literature, the Holocaust, and poetry are essential for a liberal arts education. She also translated Arthur Giron’s dramatic play Edith Stein from English into German; the play is based on Edith Stein’s life and demonstrates how the religious faith of this intellectual thinker and nun is first challenged and ultimately destroyed by Nazi ideology. 

In her courses, such as First-Year Writing; Creative Writing; Introduction to Literary Studies; Contemporary Literature; and World Literature, Professor Gilliar seeks to help students discover how reading and writing are informed by the intersection of artistic, historical, social, musical, psychological and poetic knowledge.

Throughout the past 10 years Professor Gilliar has conducted monthly writing retreats in bookstores and libraries for writers of all ages. Her joy of conducting community work in North Manchester, Wabash and Fort Wayne has traveled with her to Germany. During the summer months, she enjoys working with workshop participants in southern Germany. There, during her sabbatical year in Freiburg (2007-2008), she has been researching the latest developments in German patriotism, a project that aims at publication.

Stacy Erickson Pesetski
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Why I Teach
Dr. Stacy Erickson-Pesetski

Dr. Stacy Erickson-Pesetski joined Manchester University’s English Department in August 2007, not long after receiving her Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. She also received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in English and Spanish from Ripon College in 2000.

Professor Erickson-Pesetski specializes in early modern English literature and culture, and her research interests include book history, authorship and digital editing and publication. She has presented papers on a wide range of topics to various audiences, and her work on female editor and author Mary Sidney, prolific London publisher William Ponsonby, and 17th and 18th century Shakespeare promptbooks has been published in various collections for students and scholars. Professor Erickson-Pesetski also has received fellowships to do archival research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., and the Huntington Library in California. Her interest in the construction and reception of literary texts moves into the classroom as well; students in various classes examine the title page of the 1623 Shakespeare Folio, compare the design of 20 different covers of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and debate the merits of digital editions of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

At Manchester, Professor Erickson-Pesetski teaches a wide range of courses, including Shakespeare, British Literature II: The 17th and 18th Centuries, and The Culture of the Book. Drawing on her own undergraduate experiences with Spanish language and literature, she also enjoys teaching World Literature.

Katharine Ings
Dr. Katharine Ings 

A native of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Dr. Katharine Nicholson Ings was educated at the University of Ottawa, (B.A. Honors English, magna cum laude) and Indiana University Bloomington (M.A., Ph.D.).  She is also the first graduate of King’s-Edgehill School, Nova Scotia, to earn an International Baccalaureate diploma.

Professor Ings specializes in nineteenth-century American literature, particularly the relationships between black and white men and women during the Civil War.  Her dissertation, Illegal Fictions: White Women Writers and the Miscegenated Imagination 1857–1869, explores how white women wrote fiction about interracial romance.  Her publications on this topic include “Blackness and the Literary Imagination: Uncovering The Hidden Hand” (inPassing and the Fictions of Identity, ed. Elaine Ginsburg, Duke UP, 1996) and “Between Hoax and Hope: Miscegenation and Nineteenth-Century Interracial Romance” (in Literature Compass, Blackwell, v. 3, [May 2006]).

Professor Ings often incorporates traditional arts from the nineteenth century into her classes.  For instance, students in her African American literature class have hand-pieced log cabin quilts in the tradition of the Underground Railroad; students studying Hawthorne have embroidered their own scarlet letter on linen.

In addition to classes in American literature and Modern literature, Professor Ings teaches journalism and editing. She has over twenty years experience as a professional copyeditor, having worked both in-house and in a freelance capacity for W. W. Norton and Company. She has copyedited various Norton Anthologies, including the Norton Anthology of English Literature and theNorton Anthology of American Literature, as well as many of the Norton Critical Editions, including The Scarlet Letter and 12 Years a Slave. Her academic and personal background came full circle when she copyedited the NCE of Anne of Green Gables, the classic Prince Edward Island story. 

 As a journalist, Professor Ings writes about fashion and culture for Selvedge, the London textile and style magazine. She has interviewed sources from Philip Treacy (the Irish milliner who designed many headpieces for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, to Alexander Pope, a Project Runwaycontestant, to Jenny King, a master embroiderer for designers like Vivienne Westwood and Erdem. Ings’ fashion background complements her class The Fashion Police: Understanding the Clothes on Our Backs, which analyzes the significance of clothing while situating garments within their consumer and manufacturing contexts.

The director of Gender Studies, Professor Ings also teaches “Women and Literature” and “Feminist Theory." Her essay, “The Muse Speaks: Women in Literature and Film” has been part of the reading material for students in “Introduction to Gender Studies.”

For her publication record in journalism, editorial work, and traditional scholarship, Professor Ings was named Manchester University’s 2015 Scholar of the Year.

Jonathon Watson
Dr. Jonathan Watson
Associate Professor  

Dr. Jonathan Watson arrived at Manchester University in 1998, with a Ph.D. in Old and Middle English literature from Indiana University. At Manchester, he teaches a broad range of courses, medieval and other, including History of the English Language, British Literature I, Arthurian Literature, J.R.R. Tolkien, Romantics and Victorians, and Cinema for Social Change. His interests sweep wide: film studies, jazz studies, and creative writing. In 1993-94, Professor Watson was a Fulbright scholar to Iceland, where he studied Old Norse eddic poetry. More recently, he has studied fiction writing at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Ripton, Vt., and jazz performance at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Professor Watson’s primary research centers on Beowulf, the Finnsburh Fragment, Lawman’s Brut—the first text to recount the story of King Arthur in English—and the Icelandic sagas. His work has appeared in journals such as JEGPOral Tradition, and Arthuriana. An essay on residual orality in Lawman’s Brut appeared in the 2005 collection New Directions in Oral Theory: Essays on Ancient and Medieval Literatures (MRTS), edited by Mark C. Amodio. Professor Watson’s current research focuses on the Beowulfmanuscript and grows out of an NEH Seminar “Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Texts,” which met at the New British Library in London, England, and at Cambridge University. Other recent travels include Norway, Cuba and Wales.

At Manchester, Professor Watson serves on the Fulbright Committee and the Athletics Committee, which he currently chairs. He was recently an “honorary coach” for the MU football team (and called the first play from scrimmage). As an undergraduate, Professor Watson played soccer in the SEC as a goalkeeper for Vanderbilt University. He has also worked as a carpenter on Cape Cod building post-and-beam houses, and still returns to Chatham, Mass., and his home state New Jersey in the summer, with his wife (Professor Ings) and three children: Olivia, Susannah and Dallas.