Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

Susan Ray


Assistant Professor
Communications, Arts & Humanities

Contact Information

Marple
901 South Media Line Road
Media, PA 19063-1094
610.359.5000
Room Number: 4315
Phone: (610) 723-1365

Contact Faculty

Degrees

  • B.A. in English (Pennsylvania State University)
  • M.A. in English, General Literature & Rhetoric (Binghamton University)
  • Ph.D. in English, General Literature & Rhetoric (Binghamton University)

Academic Biography

Dissertation: Between Worlds: Race, Empire, and Otherness in the Writings of W.M. Thackeray (Director: Dr. Nancy Henry) PUBLICATIONS • "'Dirt in Victorian Literature and Culture: Writing Materiality' by Sabine Schulting." (Book Review) George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies. (Fall 2016) • "The Imprint of the Western Dime Novel on Hard-boiled Pulp Fiction." Hard-boiled Detective Fiction. Gale-Cengage’s Literary Criticism Series. (2016) • “Thackeray: Poking Holes in the Narrative of Empire.” Victorians: a Journal of Culture and Literature. (Spring 2012) • “Empty Houses: Theatrical Failure and the Novel by David Kurnick.” (Book Review). George Eliot—George Henry Lewes Studies. (Fall 2012) • “Knowing Dickens by Rosemarie Bodenheimer.” (Book Review). George Eliot—George Henry Lewes Studies. (Fall 2009)

Theoretical Approach, Experience, and Temperament

While I have been passionate about writing and language since childhood, I realize that not all of my students share my interests. During my years of teaching, I have learned that college students put forth their most sincere efforts when they recognize how the skills mastered in our course will serve them outside of the classroom. Thus, I impart that the most important accomplishments a student can take from a college English class are the abilities to write effectively and to think critically. A believer in student centered learning, I may open class with a brief lecture, but the lesson will always require student participation; this may include collectively answering discussion questions based on our readings, peer editing assignments, or group activities. Directly involving students in the learning process not only encourages them to engage with the material, but inspires a collaborative environment. In terms of student composition, I have learned that giving students the opportunity to rewrite their papers removes the stigma of looming paper deadlines and allows them to recognize that writing is process and that revision is the key to successful composition. And whether teaching a composition or traditional literature course, I believe that one of the most important steps toward becoming a stronger, more confident writer is to read, discuss, and analyze well-written works. Additionally, assigning readings that students can relate to not only fosters lively class discussion, but also invites them to ask “Why is this a strong piece of writing?” and “How could it be better?” Whenever it adds value, I strive to incorporate technology in my teaching. I encourage presentations and research that make use of electronic media and library databases. I introduce my students to (and ask them to reflect on and evaluate) a variety of technological tools and resources; literacy with recent technologies provides them with an important skill in constructing their futures. While a lifelong love of language and literature led to me academia, the adventure of teaching lies at the heart of my career. As I continue to learn from both students and colleagues, my teaching strategies are constantly evolving to better fit the needs of my students.

Scholarly Interests

  • The teaching of composition; Victorian studies; Postcolonial studies; Pop culture studies; developmental writing initiatives (ALP)