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Interdisciplinary Humanities

Irene Chipurnoi Williams

Professor, English

Irene Williams, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 1982.  She offers undergraduate courses in nineteenth and twentieth-century U.S. literature, modern European literature, and literature of genocide and occupation.  Her research focus is nineteenth-century U.S./New England literature.


Ph.D., Columbia University, English
M.A. Columbia University, English
B.A., Bennington College, English

Scholarly and Creative Work

Williams’ research, writing, and conference presentations focus on the work of Emerson, Brownson, Wharton, Stein, and Dahlberg.

Teaching Interests

Williams has taught a variety of courses at USD where the focus of study is big books by challenging authors:  Moby Dick by Melville, Specimen Days by Whitman, The Making of Americans by Stein, Life A User's Manual by Perec, Red Cavalry by Babel among them.  She is especially interested in engaging students with dense, demanding , idiosyncratic literary texts that challenge them to read in new ways.  In addition to teaching departmental classes, Williams has participated in team-taught, interdisciplinary classes for the Honors Program, most recently “Studies in Modern Palestinian Art and Literature” with Professor John Halaka and "Studies In Modern Latin American Art & Literature" with Professor Derrick Cartwright.