English Department Faculty
|Susan Alice Fischer – Department Chair, Professor of English
As Professor of English, Susan Alice Fischer teaches a range of courses, including The Body in Place and Culture; Literature of the Global City; Postcolonial Literature; Applied Literary Theory; British Literature; and World Literature. Dr. Fischer’s research focuses on 20th- and 21st-century British fiction, and especially on contemporary women’s urban novels and transnational literature. Dr. Fischer has presented her research internationally, mostly in Europe, both as an invited speaker and as a conference participant. She has extensive editorial experience, and is co-editor of the peer-reviewed Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. She has published research on diverse authors and topics, including Black British women’s writing and literary institutions, ethics in contemporary women’s fiction, and London literature. Her book reviews have appeared in The Women’s Review of Books, The Literary London Journal, and elsewhere. Publications include the edited volume – Hanif Kureishi: Contemporary Critical Perspectives – published by Bloomsbury; her chapter on the novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is forthcoming in Maggie O'Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (ed. Elaine Canning), from Bloomsbury Academic.
|Tonya Cherie Hegamin – Associate Professor
Tonya Cherie Hegamin, MFA (she/her/hers) is an English Department Professor. Tonya received her BA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School University in New York. She is the noted author of the YA novel M+O 4EVR (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008) which was listed as one of CosmoGirl.com’s “Best Summer Reads.” Her picture book Most Loved in All the World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), was the winner of the New York Public Library’s Ezra Jack Keats Award and the Christopher Award. Most Loved was also featured in Essence and Ebony magazines as well as USA TODAY’s pick for best books of Black History Month. She is co-author (with Marilyn Nelson) of the YA poetic novella, Pemba’s Song (Scholastic, 2009), listed as a “best book for reluctant readers.” Her historical fiction novel, Willow was published in 2014 by Candlewick Press and was listed as one of the best books for young feminists. Her published short stories and poetry have been lauded as “lovely,” “fresh,” “haunting” and “compelling.” Professor Hegamin has published scholarly articles and textbook chapters about the intersections of diversity and inclusion, multimodal learning, creativity, praxis and pedagogy in The Journal of Creative Writing Studies, Can Creative Writing Really be Taught? and Creative Writing Innovations. She has presented her work internationally at numerous scholarly and non-academic conferences and panels. Hegamin’s research interests include cultural history, disability studies and gender/queer studies, abstract art and patient advocacy. Hegamin serves on the CUNY School of Medicine's Medical Humanities/Narrative Medicine Advisory Board and the University Advisory Council on Diversity. Her website is tonyacheriehegamin.com<http://www.tonyacheriehegamin.com/>.
|Victoria A. Chevalier – Associate Professor of English
Victoria A. Chevalier is an Associate Professor of English at Medgar Evers College/City University of New York, where she teaches a wide-range of courses in the English Department including African American US Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American Literature. Her co-edited anthology, The Palgrave Handbook of Magical Realism in the Twenty-First Century was published in May 2020. Her book manuscript in progress, entitled Black Things: Trauma, Memory, History in Twentieth Century American Literatures, was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Award. Her new monograph, Sick of the Symbolic focuses on genealogies of sickness, healing, and affect in contemporary African American literature and US LatinX Literature. Her most recent publication on the shaping force of Langston Hughes’s debut poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” upon twenty-first century African American literature will appear in The Langston Hughes Review’s Special Edition: The Negro Speaks of Rivers at 100 in September 2021. Professor Chevalier’s other peer-reviewed works appear in Contemporary U.S. Latino/a Literary Criticism, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, and literary fiction anthologies. Professor Chevalier received her Ph.D. from Cornell University English Language and Literatures, and her B.A. in English from City College of New York (CUNY).
|Dr. Brenda Greene – Professor of English
Professor, writer and scholar, Dr. Brenda M. Greene is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature and Director of the National Black Writers Conference. Dr. Greene’s educational leadership and professional accomplishments within Medgar Evers College, CUNY, and her professional community span more than 40 years. Her scholarship is in African American literature, composition, and English Education and she has extensive essays, grants, book reviews, and presentations in these areas. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University in English with a concentration in Composition and Rhetoric. Dr. Greene is editor of The African Presence and Influence on the Cultures of the Americas, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2010) and co-editor of Resistance and Transformation: Conversations with Black Writers, Morton Books (2010), Meditations and Ascensions: Black Writers on Writing, Third World Press (2008), Redefining Ourselves, Black Writers in the Nineties, Peter Lang Publishers (1999) and Rethinking American Literature, National Council of Teachers of English, (1997). Her literary essays and book reviews appear in The Killens Journal of Arts and Letters, Neworld Review, Network Journal, and Konch. Greene has also published in English Education, Teaching College English, English Classrooms: Honoring Diversity and Change, and When Writing Teachers Teach Literature. She is host and producer of Writers on Writing, a weekly radio series featuring writers from the African diaspora. For more information about Dr. Greene, visit https://centerforblackliterature.org/founder/
|Donna Hill – Assistant Professor of Professional Writing
Donna Hill is a multi-published author with more than seventy titles in print, three of which were adapted for television. She has won numerous awards and recognition for her body of work including the Zora Neale Hurston Award for Literature. She served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Essex County College in New Jersey and Baruch College where she taught composition, African American, Caribbean, American, and Shakespearean Literature and Western Literary Tradition. She began at Medgar as an Adjunct in 2013 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Writing. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and is currently in pursuit of her DA in English Pedagogy and Technology at Murray State University. She remains a Brooklyn girl at heart where she lives with her family.
|Darrel Alejandro Holnes – Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Creative Writing
DARREL ALEJANDRO HOLNES (Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Creative Writing) is the author of Stepmotherland (Notre Dame Press, 2022) & Migrant Psalms (Northwestern Press, 2021). Holnes is an Afro-Panamanian American writer, performer, and educator. His writing has been published in English, Spanish, and French in literary journals, anthologies, and other books worldwide and online. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Poetry). His poems have previously appeared in the American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere. Holnes is a Cave Canem and CantoMundo fellow who has earned scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Postgraduate Writers Conference at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and residencies nationwide, including a residency at MacDowell. His poem “Praise Song for My Mutilated World” won the C. P. Cavafy Poetry Prize from Poetry International. His plays have received productions or readings at the Kennedy Center for the Arts American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), The Brick Theater, Kitchen Theater Company, Pregones Theater/PRTT, Primary Stages, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, The Civilians R&D Group, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Workshop, and other groups. His plays, Starry Night, and Bayano, were both finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, and several other awards. His other plays include Bayano, which was presented at National Black Theater when he was an I Am Soul Playwright in Residence, and Black Feminist Video Game, which was produced by The Civilians for 59E59 Theaters’ Plays in Place, Center Theater Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College. His play Franklin Ave was featured in The Sol Project’s Sol Fest and as a part of the Sin Muros Festival at Stages Houston. For more information visit darrelholnes.com.
|Dr. Tina M. Iemma, Assistant Professor
Dr. Tina M. Iemma is a Doctoral Lecturer in English at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. She received her B.A. in English from Plattsburgh State College, SUNY, and both a M.A. and Ph.D. in English from St. John’s University. While at St. John’s University, she acquired writing program administrative experience serving as Interim Assistant Director of their University Writing Center and as Assistant Director of Writing Across Communities. These experiences compliment her twenty-two years of teaching experience in the composition and literature classrooms within both secondary and post-secondary education. She was also one of the founding executive board members of the English Graduate Organization at St. John’s.
Tina is one of the founding members of the Bigger6 Romanticism Collective (@Bigger6Romantix). Her dissertation, “Rhetoric of Collaboration: Using Ethics of Social Justice and Activism through Writing Communities,” was defended in 2021 and is a qualitative project exploring the ways activist writers within both literary studies and writing studies participate in collective dialogic literacies to influence an ethics of collaboration and overall expansion of more public facing, engaged and inclusive research, pedagogy, and scholarship. Both her research and professional commitments are situated in the fields writing center studies, writing across curriculum, writing in the disciplines and the field of writing studies, specifically rhetorical education within social justice-seeking writing communities. Her publications can be found in Symbiosis: Transatlantic Literary & Cultural Relations and various peer-reviewed journals.
|Hyo Kim – Assistant Professor
Hyo Kim (Assistant Professor) received his BA from New York University and his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University. He has taught courses in composition, literature, and theory in Medgar Evers College (MEC) since 2003. His areas of interest include Asian American Literature and Ethnic Literatures; and Post-colonial literature and theory. His essays appear in peer-reviewed journals such as Changing English, Penumbra, Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, and College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies; Mosaic and College Literature are scholarly journals that are included in the prestigious Thomson Reuters Arts & Humanities Citation Index. He is the recipient of a fellowship from The City University of New York’s Faculty Fellowship Publication Program.
|Keming Liu – Professor of Linguistics and Literature
Dr. Keming Liu serves as the campus ESL liaison in addition to Professor of English. Her courses include Introduction to Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, World Literature, and Professional/Technical Writing. An internationally recognized translator and scholar, she is the author of the recently published book Twilight: A Contemporary Pastoral Poet in China (August 2022) as well as the volume Voices of the Fourth Generation: China's Poets Today (2010), which was adopted as a required text for Asian literature courses at Hong Kong University and in the UK. Dr. Liu was an editorial consultant for the translation of Platform Monopoly《垄断平台》(2018). In June 2016 she led a doctoral seminar on translation theory and practice at St. Andrews University. In November 2016, she delivered the keynote address on discourse strategies at the Islands-in-Between International Conference at the University of West Indies in Barbados. Her academic works include “Fiction on the Verge: Testing Taboos in The Republic of Wine” in Palgrave’s Handbook of Magical Realism (2020), Adult ESL: Politics, Pedagogy, and Participation in Classroom and Community Programs (Erlbaum, 1998), a book-length primer, Fingertip Chinese (2nd ed., Weatherhill, 2011), along with a Chinese translation of Henry James's short story “Hugh Merrow” (1987). Her articles have appeared in such scholarly journals as Urban Education, Geo-linguistics, and Wadabagei. She reviews linguistics and literature titles for Choice magazine. Dr. Liu’s short story, "The Red T-Shirt" was featured at Wavehill’s 1996 writer-in-residence workshop. She is actively involved in research on the diachronic and synchronic development of languages and literature.
|Dr. Cristina Migliaccio – Assistant Professor of English Composition and Rhetoric & Coordinator of Composition
Dr. Cristina Migliaccio is Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of Composition at CUNY Medgar Evers College. She received her M.A. in English from CUNY Queens College and her Ph.D. from St. John’s University in 2017. Her dissertation, “Language, Materiality, and Citizenship in Digital Spaces,” explores critical digital pedagogy as a pathway to cultural inclusivity in the higher ed classroom. She has taught face-to-face and online literature, composition, and professional writing courses since 2008. She has extensive experience as a writing center consultant. Her research interests include postcolonial digital humanities, translingual/transmodal literacy and pedagogy, and Italian-American and Italian Diaspora Studies. Her essays appear in peer-reviewed journals such as Educause Review Online and Open Words: Access and English Studies Online.
|Mudiwa Pettus – Assistant Professor of English Composition and Rhetoric
Dr. Mudiwa Pettus is an Assistant Professor of English Composition and Rhetoric. She earned a Ph.D. in English and African American & African Diaspora Studies from Pennsylvania State University. She holds a B.A. in English from Claflin University. Her research interests are located at the intersections of rhetorical education, Black intellectual history, and Post-Reconstruction--Pre-Harlem Renaissance Era African-American literature. Her first book, Against Compromise: Black Rhetorical Education in the Age of Booker T. Washington, is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. In the project, she traces the development of a collective African-American rhetorical consciousness through the oratorical career of Booker T. Washington. Additionally, she is an editor of a 2-book scholarly collection on Black language education forthcoming from NCTE press, and she is co-editing a collection of African Diasporic poetry with the poet-scholar, Tony Medina. Her essays appear and are forthcoming in Rhetoric Review, the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, Writers: Craft & Context, and other venues.
|Karen Pitt – Lecturer
Karen Pitt (Lecturer) a graduate of Medgar Evers College (MEC) and the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, received her BS/BA in Public Administration and English in 2003. While a student at MEC, she worked as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and Peer Mentor. Her experience as a TA encouraged her to concentrate in teaching composition. With that experience, she continued her academic pursuits and completed her MA in English at Long Island University (LIU), Brooklyn Campus in 2007. LIU ignited her desire to further explore the praxis of teaching writing, which encouraged her to apply to the CUNY Graduate Center Ph.D. Program. Her research in composition and rhetoric and Africana Studies focuses on students’ sense of identity, as it pertains to their history and language. She is particularly interested in the impact that students’ home languages have on the academic language, and she seeks strategies on how to reconcile the discrepancy, with the understanding that respect is due to both languages.At present, Ms. Pitt is a full-time instructor at Medgar Evers College, CUNY in the English Department. She teaches composition at various levels: Basic Skills, Composition I and II, and Intermediate Composition. In the Department, she serves on the composition committee and is actively involved in all composition concerns. Her reading interests are works from African, African American, and Caribbean writers and scholars; these readings help to ignite students’ interest in reading about themselves in connection to their community, society, and the world and encourage students to engage fully in writing.
|Joanna Sit – Associate Professor
Joanna Sit (Associate Professor) has a BA from SUNY at Stony Brook and an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College. She has studied Modern European Literature at New York University. She is the author of three books of poetry: My Last Century (Spuyten Duyvil, 2012), In Thailand with the Apostles (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014), and Track Works (Fly by Night Press, 2017). Her poem “Timescape: The Age of Oz” was nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize in 2016. Her essay and poems have appeared recently in Persimmon Tree, Gyroscope Review and Creosote. Her book reviews have appeared in Small Press Review, and in Gathering of the Tribes Magazine. She is a reviewer and copy editor for The Journal of Creative Writing Studies. She is currently working on an oral narrative/translation project that is partially funded by two PSC-CUNY Research Grant entitled The Reincarnation of Red, and a recent PSC-CUNY Research Grant for her memoir, East to East. She is the faculty advisor and editor-in-chief of the Medgar Evers College Student Literary Journal, The Crown Heights Review.
|Carlyle Van Thomson – Professor
Carlyle Van Thompson (Professor) has been with Medgar Evers College, CUNY for nineteen years, teaching in the Department of English and serving as Dean of the School for Liberal Arts and Education. Professor Thompson received his Bachelor of Arts from the Center for Worker Education at City College, City University of New York, his Master of Arts, his Master of Philosophy, and his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University—all while working full-time for the New York City Transit Authority. Graduating from City College as a Ford Foundation Fellow and the Valedictorian, Professor Thompson was awarded the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. To date, Dr. Thompson has published three books: The Tragic Black Buck: Racial Masquerading in the American Literary Imagination (2004), Eating the Black Body: Miscegenation as Sexual Consumption in African American Literature (2006), and Black Outlaws: Race, Law, and Male Subjectivity in African American Literature (2010); he has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Thompson’s scholarly article on Abner Louima highlighted police brutality in New York City.