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Kocher, Ruth Ellen

Distinguished Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Kocher's creative work focuses on form and notions of form, the rhetorical poetics of fragment, sequence, and disruptive narrative. Most recently, she has framed formal experimentation within tropes of subject-position, dominant narratives, and the dialogic displacement of the political voice. Recent projects expand work in poetics to include digital and visual poetry. Her scope of pedagogical research includes investigations of social media, digital literary communities, cultures, and canons.


  • poetry and poetics, creative writing, digital and mixed media art, narratives and collaborations, identity politics, intersectionality, social media relative to literary communities, cultures and canons, American Modernism, emergence of African American writing relative to African American artistic movements, history, and literature, Contemporary American literature, literary history, and literary movements, translation and analysis of African diasporic texts


selected publications


courses taught

  • ENGL 3026 - Syntax, Citation, Analysis: Writing About Literature
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2023
    Students hone their writing skills by closely analyzing the language in literary texts. The course will focus on the nuances of sentence structure and grammar, in order to help students become better writers and readers. Students will learn how to perform research in literary criticism and will write and revise a research paper, as well as a number of other short papers for different audiences. Students will learn and use citation methods within the discipline and will discuss the reasoning behind citational practice. Recommended prerequisite: completion of lower-division writing requirement.
  • ENGL 4021 - Advanced Poetry Workshop
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Advanced course in poetry writing. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.
  • ENGL 4830 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Students accepted to English Departmental Honors are enrolled in this course.
  • ENGL 5229 - Poetry Workshop
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Designed to give students time and impetus to generate poetry and discussion of it in an atmosphere at once supportive and critically serious. Enrollment requires admission to the Creative Writing Graduate Program or the instructor's approval of an application manuscript. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours.
  • ENGL 5279 - Studies in Poetry
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Addresses contemporary poetry, and/or literary works important for contemporary poetry. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.
  • ENGL 6959 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024


awards and honors

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