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

Critical Writing staff and faculty


  • Valerie Ross, Director
  • Patrick Wehner, Associate Director
  • Rodger LeGrand, Associate Director
  • Doug Paletta, Associate Director
  • Brighid Kelly, Program Assistant


  • Lawrence Abbott, English
  • Jonathan Argaman, Political Science
  • Amy Brown, Anthropology
  • Michael Burri, Cinema Studies
  • Sara Byala, History
  • Jo Ann Caplin, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Christa Cesario, Anthropology
  • Durba Chattaraj, Anthropology and South Asia Studies
  • Kushanava Choudhury, Political Science
  • Miriam Clinton, Art & Archeology of the Mediterranean World
  • Alyssa Connell, English
  • Lori Daggar, History
  • Emmerich Davies, Political Science
  • Thomas Dichter, English
  • Mariam Durrani, Anthropology
  • Michael Edwards, Romance Languages
  • Heather Elomaa, Classical Studies
  • Phillip Fackler, Religious Studies
  • Laura Finch, Comparative Literature
  • Julia Gunn, History
  • Kristen Hipolit, Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Christopher Jimenez, English
  • Matt Johnson, Anthropology
  • Carol Kalin, Economics
  • Kathleen Kramer, Fine Arts
  • Shaleigh Kwok, Psychology
  • Byron Lee, Communications
  • Marian Makins, Classical Studies
  • Adam Mohr, History and Sociology of Science
  • Samantha Muka, History and Sociology of Science
  • Amy Paeth, English
  • Francis Prior, Sociology
  • Enrique Ramirez, Architecture
  • Jacqui Sadashige, Cinema Studies
  • Elizabeth Scheyder, Engineering and Education
  • Gail Shister, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Michelle Taransky, English
  • Alison Traweek, Classical Studies
  • Carolyn Trench, Art History
  • David Urban, Classical Studies
  • Fayyaz Vellani, Environmental Studies
  • Dana Walker, Information Science
  • Rafael Walker, English
  • Caroline Whitbeck, Comparative Literature
  • Robert Willison, Philosophy