Faculty Profile

Carol Ann Johnston

Professor of English, Martha Porter Sellers Chair of Rhetoric and the English Language (1990), Department Chair

Contact Information


East College Room 410


Her teaching interests include literature of the Early Modern period, poetry workshop, and Southern Women Writers. Her current research investigates subjectivity and agency in seventeenth-century English poetry. She has written a book on Eudora Welty and is working on a manuscript placing poet Thomas Traherne in the context of seventeenth-century visual traditions.


  • B.A., Baylor University, 1978
  • M.A., 1980
  • M.A., Harvard University, 1983
  • Ph.D., 1992

2013-2014 Academic Year

Fall 2013

ENGL 101 Southern Women Writers
A course in prose written by women of the American South. We will begin with the diary of Mary Chesnut written during the Civil War and continue with notable writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, which may include Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston, Ellen Gilchrist, Ellen Douglas, Kaye Gibbons. Some critical and theoretical texts will also be required. Writing assignments will include short explications,longer essays, and an exam. Attendance and participation in class discussion are required.

ENGL 220 Crit Approaches & Lit Methods
An introduction to the basic questions that one may ask about a literary text, its author, and its audience. Study of a limited selection of literary texts using several critical approaches. The course will also offer instruction in the elements of critical writing.

ENGL 392 Shakespeare: Politics/Culture
We will read seven plays representing Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories: Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, MacBeth, Lear, and The Tempest. We will also view and discuss films of several of these plays by such directors as Branaugh, Casson, Greenaway, Kurosawa, and Noble. The secondary - theoretical - reading for the course will primarily draw upon New Historicist and Cultural Materialist criticism, first practiced in the US by Stephen Greenblatt in his Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980). Where appropriate, we will also consider contextual and feminist issues. Assignments will include an in-class performance of a scene from one of the plays, a mid-term, a brief close reading essay, and a final research paper.

Spring 2014

ENGL 218 Creative Writ:Poetry & Fiction
An introductory creative writing workshop in poetry and fiction.

ENGL 394 Revolutionary Milton
Detailed study of the poetry and prose with emphasis on the development of Milton as a poet. Prerequisite: 220 or the permission of the instructor.