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
  • Ella Browning, Associate Director of Writing in the Disciplines
  • Brighid Kelly, Associate Director of Administration
  • Kristen Gay, Associate Director of the Marks Family Writing Center
  • Sean McGeehan, Administrative Coordinator


  • Lawrence Abbott, English
  • Jonathan Argaman, Political Science
  • Amy Brown, Anthropology
  • Sara Byala, History
  • Hannah Byland, Medieval Studies
  • Jo Ann Caplin, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Jean-Paul Cauvin, Philosophy
  • Daniel Choi, Molecular Biology
  • Zack De Piero, Rhetoric
  • Lucas Dunlap, Philosophy
  • Julia Gunn, History
  • Danielle Hanley, Political Science
  • Kristen Hipolit, Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Alison Howard, Comparative Literature
  • Matt Johnson, Anthropology
  • Shelby Justl, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  • Carol Kalin, Economics
  • Melissa Kapadia-Bodi, Education
  • John Kehayias, Physics
  • Kathleen Kramer, Fine Arts
  • Shaleigh Kwok, Psychology
  • Aurora MacRae-Crerar, Biology
  • Patrick Manning, English
  • Julia McWilliams, Education
  • Adam Mohr, History and Sociology of Science
  • David Nelson, Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Matthew Osborn, Rhetoric
  • Amy Paeth, English
  • Jacqui Sadashige, Cinema Studies
  • Elizabeth Scheyder, Engineering and Education
  • Gail Shister, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Andrew Starner, Theater
  • Michelle Taransky, English
  • Jordan Taylor, Philosophy
  • Carolyn Trench, Art History
  • Fayyaz Vellani, Environmental Studies
  • Dana Walker, Information Science
  • Patrick Wehner, Communications
  • Caroline Whitbeck, Comparative Literature