Jeannine Johnson

jjohnso2@wellesley.edu

(781) 283-2579
Writing Program
B.A., Haverford College; Ph.D., Yale University



Jeannine Johnson
Lecturer in the Writing Program

Teaches writing courses, serves coordinator of the writing tutors, and writes and lectures about poetry, aesthetics, and rhetoric.


My scholarship focuses on poetry (especially post-1945 and Romantic), aesthetics, and literary genres and traditions. In my book Why Write Poetry? Modern Poets Defending Their Art (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007), I explore what I’ve identified as the verse defense of poetry. I examine the ways in which poets both question and defend the role and value of poetry in our world, and explain why and how they do so within their poems. I am also interested in art (especially the intersections between it and literature, as in ekphrasis), as well as rhetoric and rhetorical forms.

The courses I teach, including “Wellesley and the World,” “Athletes and Artists,” and “Poetry and Other Arts,” emphasize literature, though they also engage other disciplines (such as history, women’s studies, and art) and contemporary trends and debates. Through my courses, I encourage students to see writing and scholarly argument not as ends in themselves but as part of their engagement with their world.As coordinator of the writing tutors, I oversee a program of peer tutors who advise approximately 400 Wellesley students a year on their writing assignments. Tutors offer guidance to students taking courses in all the academic disciplines represented at Wellesley. I’ve made a special effort to work with faculty and students to make tutoring services more accessible and relevant to all students, especially those taking courses in the sciences. Before I came to Wellesley in 2007, I taught at Harvard and Wake Forest Universities.

I am involved in developing tools and workshops for novice and advanced writers in all academic fields, including the sciences. I have led seminars on writing for undergraduates, graduate students, writing instructors, and scientists and physicians.

I enjoy sports, food, and travel, the latter especially when it involves events and activities related to sports and food.