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Department ofEnglish

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Heather Turner

Heather Turner

Meet Our Newest Faculty!

Heather Noel Turner

Tell us about your background as a scholar and teacher.

My background is in professional and technical communication, community writing, and digital humanities. In my scholarship and in my teaching, I do community-based design projects that address social issues. Typically this kind of work takes the form of me collaborating with community members and students to make technologies and texts more functional, usable, accessible, and inclusive. My goal as a scholar, teacher, and designer is to make information visible by iterating and refining it, so more people can design inclusive technologies and texts from the start.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m co-authoring an article about visualizing translation as a process. Because this project is about making translation more visible, I’m working with a few different technologies to create an interactive website that readers can see and explore. It’s a lot of coding and design, which is so fun!

Why Santa Clara?

Social justice is at the heart of my work and I am so excited to join a community of teachers, staff, students, and administrators that share a similar goal. Santa Clara is a unique place full of opportunities!

What do you do in your spare time?

I started out as a designer, so I like to make art (from GIFS to murals!) for fun. Because I have always stared at screens all day (a True Millennial Move™️), I try to balance it out by practicing yoga—and have been for ten years.


Andrew Keener

Tell us about your background as a scholar and teacher.

I teach and research Shakespeare, English Renaissance drama, and the history of books. I also use computational approaches in my studies of early modern language and literature. We live in a complex world of text technologies -- printed books, newspapers, and magazines, but also electronic texts of all kinds: emails, text messages, and even nontextual communication such as emojis. It’s my belief that these circumstances require more, not less attention to the workings of language, and that the study of literature offers crucial advantages in that sense. I recently completed my Ph.D. in English Literature at Northwestern University; before that, I earned my M.A from North Carolina State University and my bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

What are you working on now?

In addition to preparing the courses I will teach in the upcoming year -- which include Critical Thinking & Writing I and II, Shakespeare’s Comedies, and Intro to Shakespeare -- I am writing a book entitled Theaters of Translation: Cosmopolitan Vernaculars in Shakespeare’s England. Based on my doctoral dissertation, this study analyzes a series of Renaissance plays alongside multilingual dictionaries and grammar books published during Shakespeare’s time, proposing a fresh, transnational alternative to nationally-focused studies of Shakespeare’s theater. The work towards this project has taken place at over 40 rare books libraries in Europe and North America, and I’ve made some fascinating discoveries during my travels -- for example, an Italian-English dictionary scribbled in by one of the playwrights at the center of my study! Artifacts like these, I argue, reveal that the linguistic and political boundaries of Shakespeare’s England were fluid and messy sites for groundbreaking literary activity.

Why Santa Clara?

I benefited from a Jesuit, Catholic education myself at BC, so it’s especially meaningful for me to be a teacher and a scholar at this institution. In fact, I’d really like to teach a course on Jesuits and literature here, and the variety of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials at Santa Clara’s Special Collections Library present fantastic opportunities for SCU students to handle and study primary sources. Additionally, my research and teaching engage with computational methods and the range of analytical approaches known as the “digital humanities,” so I’m excited to be right here in Silicon Valley. With others on SCU’s faculty, I’ll be working on ways to bridge the traditional methods of the humanities -- critical thinking and close reading, for example -- with the brave new worlds of technology’s tomorrow. Finally, since I’ve spent 10 out of the last 12 years in Chicago and Boston, I should really mention how glad I am about California’s climate!

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to keep up with my college hockey team, the Boston College Eagles, as well as the Boston Bruins. (You might see me at a Sharks game.) I really like snowboarding and hiking too, and I’m excited to explore all the different landscapes that the region has to offer.


Matt Gomes

Tell us about your background as a scholar and teacher.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, with specialties in writing studies that include writing assessment, writing pedagogy, and audio composing. I earned a Bachelor of

Arts in Music Composition from Fresno State University; a Master of Arts in English Composition Theory from Fresno State University; and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing from Michigan State University. I am interested in relationships between the teaching of writing and social justice, and how student-engaged modes of assessment can contribute to more just cultures of education. My research has been recently published in Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and the Advancement of Opportunity, and is forthcoming in Community Action for Social Justice: A Digital Archive. I have also recently produced podcasts for the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on several projects. At Michigan State, a lot of my research focused on the question: What about first-year writing courses do students find most helpful? I am working with a colleague to publish two pieces of this research: one is an analysis of students’ expectations for their courses, and methods programs can use to identify such expectations; the second models students’ perceptions of helpful writing courses, in relation to their experiences in those courses, and their expectations. Now that I am at Santa Clara, I am excited to follow up on this research by asking: do students at SCU find the same types of experiences helpful? And, a question that is related: what does success mean for students at SCU, and how can writing contribute to students’ visions for success?

Why Santa Clara?

Right now, I am most excited by the Jesuit traditions of education and learning more about those traditions. I love that humanity, justice, and sustainability are at the core of the institutional mission, vision, and values, and that SCU has articulated institutional commitments to these values. As an educator and researcher who believes in these principles, it is a special thing to see these values articulated so clearly and without equivocation. I also love the attention to student learning, especially through community and professional engagement. The university has such a bold and ethically grounded articulation of what education should be.

What do you do in your spare time?

I like hobbies that contribute to my emotional, intellectual, and physical wellbeing. I listen to a lot of stuff: podcasts and music mostly. I love to learn from podcasts, especially about news and issues outside of my research areas. There are a few podcasts that have actually been extraordinarily helpful for learning more about other disciplines and methodological approaches… so basically, listening to podcasts helps me understand the ways that people think about things, and make claims about knowledge. Music has always been important to me, and I love listening, and occasionally making sounds…Earlier this year I finished a mix of 80s r&b, funk, and boogie heavily inspired by the teamwork of Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller. I also like working out and practicing yoga regularly.