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About Sheila Hassell Hughes

Dr. Hughes recently served as the chair of the Department of English for six years and, before that, was director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program for four years.
She earned her Honors B.A. (University of British Columbia) and M.A. (University of Toronto) in English and spent several years teaching ESL to international students in Vancouver, Canada, before earning an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Women's Studies from Emory University. She chose the program at Emory because it allowed her to integrate her interests in women's literature, religious studies, and feminist thought. After a post-graduate year as visiting faculty at Emory, she joined UD's English Department in 1998.
Her research and teaching at UD have been wide-ranging and often interdisciplinary. In 2004 she began directing the Women's Studies Program and helped establish a new major. As chair of the English Department, Dr. Hughes shepherded the approval and implementation of a new composition curriculum (ENG 100-200), led a complete revision of the English major - including the addition of a new writing track - and promoted greater diversity in both the curriculum and faculty. Dr. Hughes is active in the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), and has been involved in many campus initiatives and groups related to gender equity, diversity, and internationalization.


Present Dean, St. Mary's College of California ‐ School of Liberal Arts
19982015 Professor, Department of English, University of Dayton

Research Interests

Louise Erdrich, Religion and literature, Feminist theory, Girls’ Studies, Women and religion, and Intercultural literacy


1996 PhD, Emory University ‐ Women's Studies
1991 MA, University of Toronto ‐ English
1988 BA, University of British Columbia ‐ English

Contact Information

Phone: 937-229-2813
Location: HM 275


Presentations (9)