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Faculty Profile

Chelsea Skalak

Assistant Professor of English (2015)

Contact Information

East College Room 304


  • B.A., Northwestern University, 2008
  • M.A., University of Virginia, 2011
  • Ph.D., 2015

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ENGL 101 Medievalism Tolkien/GOT
The novels of J.R.R. Tolkien popularized a new era of medievalism in the arts, inspiring an incredible output of novels, art, movies and television, and video and role-playing games. Yet “medievalism” is also often hurled as an insult, indicating outmoded or backwards-looking modes of thought. In this class, we will consider the ramifications of the resurgence of medievalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including questions of genre, politics, history, and the individual in society. Authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, and G.R.R. Martin.

ENGL 331 Angels/Demons Early Eng Stage
From the soaring orations of God and the admonitions of angels to the blasphemies and deceptions of devils, the denizens of heaven and hell occupied considerable time and space on the medieval and early modern stage. In the mouths of supernatural beings, playwrights could ask challenging questions about subjects such as religion, government, free will, gendered relationships, personal identity, and the nature of literature. This class will explore these issues through the lens of early English drama, from amateur medieval guilds to the rise of professional public theaters, and will conclude with the study of these early works in performance today. Texts will include medieval cycle and morality plays, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Shakespeare’s Othello, and Ben Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass.