Shawn Alfrey is the Associate Director of the University Honors Program and the Boettcher Mentor. In these roles she is able to advise students, teach them, share in their book groups, and even go hiking and to the theatre with them! She also helps Director Keith Miller develop the Honors curriculum, participates on the Honors Council, and works with the Office of Admission and current and prospective students and their families.
Shawn received her MA and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University. Before moving to the Boston area, though, she was a dedicated Coloradoan, and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she majored in English and Geography. Family and geography brought her back to Colorado, where she has taught literature and writing all over the metro area, including a couple of years as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the DU English Department. Having loved working with the students and faculty here, she was happy to join the University Honors Program in 2007.
Shawn teaches Honors Writing and Honors Seminars that run from the serious ("The Literature of Truth and Reconciliation") to the star-crossed ("Engaging the Bard: DU Students and the DPS Shakespeare Festival"). Her scholarly interests include post-bellum American literature, poetry, and cultural studies. Her publications include articles in The Massachusetts Review, Sagetrieb, and The Emily Dickinson Journal. She is currently working on Whitman, with an upcoming review in Double Room and a course on Whitman and conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams. Her book on the poetics of the sublime in Dickinson, H.D., and Gertrude Stein was published in 2000 by Bucknell University Press. Upcoming publications include a chapter on a book on the implications for literature of political philosopher Slavoz Zizek's work, and a chapter in an upcoming monography on honors pedagogy. She also hopes to revisit works in progresse on late-nineteenth century American women poets, and one on postcolonial anglophone poetry.