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The Critical Writing Program

As part of Penn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW), the Critical Writing Program strengthens the university's deep commitment to developing and refining the critical thinking, writing, and collaborative skills of our undergraduate students. Dedicated to teaching writing and to creating a community of writers across schools and disciplines, the Critical Writing Program brings together a uniquely discipline-based writing curriculum with dynamic out-of-the-classroom writer's workshops, symposia and readings; student-centered literary projects and publications; world-renowned Writers House Fellows; and Penn Senior Writing Fellows, distinguished writers and scholars, nationally recruited.

Penn undergraduates across all four schools fulfill their writing requirement through seminars offered by the Critical Writing Program. They continue to advance their skills by enrolling in a range of writing courses and opportunities affiliated with CPCW. Undergraduates receive additional writing support and feedback from peer and senior tutors in the Marks Family Writing Center.

Click here for a complete list of Critical Writing seminars.

Contact information

Critical Writing Program
Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
University of Pennsylvania
3808 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6121

Telephone: 215-573-2729
Fax: 215-573-8398
Email: critwrit@writing.upenn.edu

Critical Writing staff and faculty


  • Valerie Ross, Director
  • Patrick Wehner, Associate Director
  • Rodger LeGrand, Associate Director
  • Doug Paletta, Associate Director
  • R. J. Bernocco, Program Assistant

Senior Writing Fellows

  • Sara Byala, History
  • Jo Ann Caplin, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Durba Chattaraj, Anthropology and South Asia Studies
  • Kushanava Choudhury, Political Science
  • Kathleen Kramer, Fine Arts
  • Adam Mohr, Anthropology
  • Gail Shister, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Fayyaz Vellani, Environmental Studies

Critical Writing Fellows

  • Lawrence Abbott, English
  • Amy Brown, Anthropology
  • Michael Burri, Cinema Studies
  • Miriam Clinton, Art & Archeology of the Mediterranean World
  • Matt Johnson, Anthropology
  • Shaleigh Kwok, Phsychology
  • Marian Makins, Classical Studies
  • Bridget Nolan, Sociology
  • Julia Perratore, Art History
  • Jacqui Sadashige, Cinema Studies
  • Michelle Taransky, English
  • Alison Traweek, Classical Studies
  • David Urban, Classical Studies
  • Dana Walker, Information Science
  • Rafael Walker, English
  • Emily Weissbourd, Comparative Literature
  • Caroline Whitbeck, Comparative Literature

Critical Writing Lecturers

  • Garry Bertholf, Africana Studies
  • Jacqueline Burek, English
  • Ashley Chang, English
  • Yung-Ching Chang, Comparative Literature
  • Justin Clapp, Anthropology
  • Devorah Fischler, Comparative Literature
  • Chris Jimenez, English
  • Carol Kalin, Economics
  • Ali Madani, English
  • Dianne Mitchell, English
  • Elizabeth Scheyder, Education
  • Isabel Suchanek, Art History
  • Daniela Tanner Hernandez, Comparative Literature

Graduate Teaching Fellows

  • Darren Ashby, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
  • Neil Crimes, Music
  • Alkistis Elliott-Graves, Philosophy
  • Emily Gerstell, English
  • Ian Hartshorn, Political Science
  • Michael Joiner, Anthropology
  • Adam Leeds, Anthropology
  • Amy Paeth, English
  • Carolyn Trench, Art History