English Faculty group photo in front of Mary Frances Parker Writing Center, From Left to Right: Terry Barr, Kendra Hamilton, Philip Perdue, Emily Taylor, Robert Stutts, Lynne Simpson, Justin Brent

Dr. Terry Barr

Headshot of Terry Barr

Professor of English
Office location: Neville Hall 229
Office phone: 864.833.8373
BA, University of Montevallo
MA, PhD, University of Tennessee
Joined PC in 1987

Courses taught:

Survey of American Literature II, Introduction to World Cinema, Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction, Film and American Culture, Holocaust Literature, Southern Jewish Literature, The Modern British and American Novel, Media and Society

Personal interests:

Alternative Graphic Novels; Rock, Soul, and Country Music; Independent Film; any novel by Zadie Smith, David Joy, Philip Roth; Live Music (Wilco, Orville Peck, Willie Nelson, Amanda Shires Neil Young); Writing; Jewish Culture; Cooking (Cajun especially!!!); watching cool TV like Only Murders in the Building, Schitt’s Creek, Fleabag, and Somebody, Somewhere; my wife, daughters, my granddaughter Pippa, and my Carolina Wild Dog, Max!

My teaching philosophy is, and has always been, to persuade and give opportunities to students to see their world from as many perspectives as possible. I believe it is important to challenge the pre-existing views of students, to help them form their world views, and to encourage them to use literature in this process, as it is a true window to the world and into their hearts, minds, and souls.

In the past few years, particularly in my American Literature courses, I have asked students to participate in the ongoing American narrative which means, in my view, that we must examine the stories, the mythos, that America has been writing about, and which it has come to believe about itself. In doing so, we must examine closely the issues of race, culture, gender, and religion in America and try to determine if our country has been fulfilling its promise and living up to its own expectations. So as we read works by Faulkner, Capote, Margaret Atwood and others, or examine the reality of African-American American South, or see how America responded (or didn’t respond) to the gathering storm clouds of the Holocaust, or how multi-racial Americans are still coming to terms with their pasts and legacies, we attempt to answer questions about ourselves, our views, biases, and prejudices. And in this process, both my students and I continue to grow and re-evaluate ourselves and what it means to be an American.

In my Creative Nonfiction classes, we explore the deepest secrets of our lives, and I model this writing by using writers like Joan Didion and selections from my own four books, especially my last two: Secrets I’m Dying To Tell You and The American Crisis Playlist. I write regularly on Medium about literature, music, and current events.

Dr. Justin Brent

Dr. Justin Brent wearing a bike helmet holding flowers

Professor of English
Director, Russell Program
Office location: Neville Hall 227
Office phone: 864.833.8989
BA, Furman University
PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Joined PC in 2001

Courses taught:

First Year Exploration; Second Year Exploration; Composition; Introduction to Literature, Intensive English Courses (for second-language speakers); Media Studies; Topics in Linguistics; Survey of World Literature in Translation; Topics in Medieval Literature; Health Communication; Writing for Mass Media

Personal interests:

Medieval Languages and Literature, Linguistics (particularly historical linguistics), Media and Communication, Public Health and Wellness, Service Entrepreneurship, Urban Planning and Infrastructure

I joined the faculty in 2001, after completing my PhD in English at SUNY Stony Brook in New York. My education and career path show the direction and focus of an errant knight in your typical medieval romance — full of passion and commitment, but often distracted by the cause of the moment. By way of illustration, my education and early scholarship steered me toward medieval conceptions of the afterlife, but more recently I find myself turning toward media, public health and urban design. These interests are fueled in part by PC’s pivot toward service entrepreneurship and my own desire to stay relevant. But at heart I’ve always had a community organizer inside me, which makes me believe that I’m closer to my calling than I ever have been.

My Substack “Streets That Bind” (@streetsthatbind) can be found here

Dr. Kendra Y. Hamilton

Kendra Hamilton Headshot

Associate Professor of English
Director, Southern Studies Program
Faculty Advisor, The BlueStocking

Office location: Neville Hall 231
Office phone: 864.833.8340
AB, English, Duke University
MFA, Poetry, Louisiana State University
PhD, English and American Studies, University of Virginia
Joined PC in 2014

Courses taught:

African American literature survey and special topics courses; Southern literature courses including Introduction to Southern Studies, The Big House, Other Souths; contemporary literature including Introduction to Popular Culture; as well as writing courses including Writing for Mass media for English-Communication Studies and Teaching Composition for the Education Department.

Personal interests:

I am an essayist, poet, and scholar whose research and teaching explore intersections of race/gender and the natural world including especially rural folkways/foodways in the context of what has been called “the plantationcene”—a natural world whose relationships have been violently rearranged by plantation slavery. I am the author of The Goddess of Gumbo: Poems (2006), and my poetry, essays, and scholarship have appeared in journals such as Common-place, Mississippi Quarterly, Callaloo, and the Southern Review. My book of literary criticism, Romancing the Gullah in the Age of Porgy and Bess, is forthcoming in June 2024 from U of Georgia Press. I teach African American/Southern literature and advanced writing courses; I also direct the Southern Studies minor at Presbyterian College and serve as faculty advisor to The BlueStocking, PC’s student newspaper.

Dr. Philip Perdue

Philip Perdue Headshot

Assistant Professor of English and Communication Studies
Director, Communication Studies
Coordinator, Writing Center
Faculty Advisor, WPCX

Office location: Neville Hall 211
Office phone: 864.833.8365
BA, Western Washington University
MA, Ph.D., Indiana University
Joined PC in 2019

Courses taught:

Introduction to Communication Studies; Communicating Citizenship; Sports Communication; Persuasive Podcasting: Visual Rhetoric; Digital Rhetoric; Advocacy and Public Influence; Rhetoric and Religion; English Composition

Personal Interests:

Armchair philosophy; public debate; media literacy; college basketball; foraging; woodworking and upcycling; audio production; news photography; How-To videos on YouTube; design; Christian fundamentalism; illustration and portraiture; murals; stand-up comedy; dog jingles. 

I arrived in Clinton soon after finishing my PhD at Indiana University. My doctoral research gives me some expertise in rhetoric; visual communication; media, religious, and cultural studies. Some of that work is published in Reframing Rhetorical History (2022, U of Alabama Press). Courses I teach reflect my understanding that communication — our primary way to participate in democratic society — is less about skill and more about developing a rhetorical sensibility. This means producing messages fit for their purpose, distinguishing correctly between different kinds of messages, and evaluating how a message might be perceived from someone else’s point of view. It is so much fun to accompany students in their discovery of the unexpected richness and complexity of human communication. 

Otherwise, when I’m not scratching my chin on nuances of rhetoric and communication theory, I’ll be in the woodshop or out on the mountainside looking at plants and rocks and bugs and mushrooms, certain that the best hours are when my dog Scarlett is somewhere nearby.

Dr. Lynne Simpson


Professor of English
Department Chair
Office location: Neville Hall 213
Office phone: 864.833.8996
BA, Washington and Jefferson College
MA, PhD, University of Massachusetts
Joined PC in 1996

Courses Taught:

Austenmania!; Capstone; Composition; Introduction to Literature; Nineteenth Century British Literature; Survey of British Literature I & II, Topics in Renaissance Literature; Shakespeare; and Women’s Literature

Personal Interests:

I am a native of Pittsburgh (Go Pens! Go Steelers!) who resides in Greer and considers Walt Disney World my ‘home away from home.’ I enjoy a good laugh, a great book, and anything chocolate. Indeed, I keep a stash of candy in my office—for medicinal purposes only—should you require some. My hubby, Dr. Greg Goeckel, is a professor of mathematics and computing at PC, and we are the doting and always delighted parents of Zachary Charles. I am also the proud step-mom of twins: Julia Anderson, a nutritionist and 2013 graduate of PC, and Philip Goeckel, US Army veteran and Lexington County senior deputy and K-9 handler. As you can tell, family matters to me—which is part of the reason I cherish PC.

I graduated summa cum laude from Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania where I majored in English and Business and Economics. College was transformative: I was the first in my family to complete a four-year degree. I wanted to be a professor myself and teach at a place where the liberal arts and personal relationships mattered; therefore, PC felt like home from the minute I arrived way back in 1996. I hope it will feel like home for you too, so if you are a student here or considering PC, please let me know if I can help.

Mr. Robert E. Stutts

Robert Stutts headshot

Professor of English
Director, Creative Writing program
Office location: Neville Hall 235
Office phone: 864.833.8366
BA, English, Francis Marion College
MA, English, Clemson University
MFA, Creative Writing (Popular Fiction), University of Southern Maine
Joined PC in 2001

Courses taught:

Freshman Composition and Creative Writing (Poetry, Short Fiction, Screenwriting, Children’s Books, Fairy Tales, Advanced Creative Writing, Senior Portfolio)

Personal interests:

Creative Writing; Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Mythology; Magic Realism & Fantasy; Film; Gender Studies; Comic Books & Graphic Novels; Pop Culture

When I began teaching full-time in 1994, I had no idea where I would end up, or if teaching was really what I was called to do. The first half of my teaching career was peripatetic—four schools in six years, such being the life of an itinerant academic—and while I enjoyed the work, the sense of being perpetually in transition was not what I wanted. Then, in 2001, I came to Presbyterian College, a great place which I’m happy to call home.

My favorite part of teaching at PC is working individually with students. I feel that the one-on-one conference is where I can be most effective in talking about writing, whether critical or creative, and in those individual conferences I can give my full attention to each student.

“…the ideal teacher would not so much influence others as discover the uniqueness of each writer and thereupon respond to and develop that…” ~Donald Justice, AWP Newsletter, September 1980

In his memoir, Stan Persky talks about the French literary theorist Maurice Blanchot’s concept of teaching as an “infinite attention to the other.” Persky’s response to Blanchot was to define learning as “the willingness to change your life,” which I think is not only true but necessary for both the student and the teacher. These ideas have stuck with me since I read them in 1998, as I think they offer a summation of my own teaching philosophy.  To give infinite attention to the other must also include a willingness to change—as a teacher I must be willing to not only change my students but be changed by them. And I am, every day.

Dr. Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor Headshot

Associate Professor of World Literature
Director, Women’s & Gender Studies program
Director, Intensive English Program

Office location: Neville Hall 233
Office phone: 864.833.8368
BA, English and Spanish, University of Northern Iowa
PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Oregon
Joined PC in 2012

Courses taught:

ENGL 1001 Introduction to Composition; ENGL 1002 Introduction to Literature; ENGL 2102 Research Methods; ENGL 2103 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism; ENGL 2450 Introduction to Translation Studies; ENGL 3520 Postcolonial Literature and Film; ENGL 4100 Senior Capstone in English; WGST 225 Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies

Personal Interests:

I earned my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon. My published work appears in Caribbean-Irish Connections, The Journal of West Indian Literature, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature, The Southern Quarterly, Caribbean Literature in Transition, and Ms. Magazine. I write the newsletter Hot Feminism: Letters from South Carolina. My research and teaching interests include Caribbean literature, literary theory, women’s writing, and research methods. In my free time, I enjoy reading, walking the dog, and challenging the patriarchy.