Meet the faculty of the English program.


Andrew Anastasia

Associate Professor
Phone:(847) 925-6758
Office: L237
Classes Taught: Eng 095, Eng 101, Eng 102, Eng 103, Eng 130

Background: Dr. Anastasia received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and specializes in LGBTQ+ rhetorics and social justice-focused, trauma-informed pedagogy. His current work centers on merging best practices from counseling psychology and post-secondary education in order to maximize student bandwidth recovery. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in clinical professional counseling at Mount Mary University. 


Ana Contreras


Brian Cremins  Brian Cremins

  Phone: 847.925.2389

Background: Brian Cremins is a Professor of English at Harper College, where he began teaching in 2008. He received his BA in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College in 1995, his MA in English from the University of Connecticut in 1997, and his Ph.D. in English (with a concentration in early twentieth century African American literature and film) in 2004. For more information on his publications, please visit his website at www.brianwcremins.com


Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.

The Other 1980s: Reframing Comics' Crucial Decade. Co-Edited with Brannon Costello, Louisiana State University Press, 2021. 


Kurt Hemmer

Phone: 847.925.6779
Office: L242

Shante Holley

Professor/CE Instructor
Phone: 847.925.6959
Office: D261a

Stephanie Horton

Associate Professor
Phone: 947.925.6334
Office: L334

Rich Johnson

Phone: 847.925.6429
Office: L229

Margaret King

Associate Professor / Co-Chair
Phone: 847.925.6450
Office: L251
Classes Taught: ENG 101, ENG 102, LIT 115, LIT 112, HUM/HST 105

Biography: Meg King has been a faculty member at Harper College since 2013.  She fell in love with teaching as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the years, Dr. King routinely revises and re-thinks her class policies and themes.  As a result of recent coursework on Trauma Informed Teaching and Equity Course ReDesign, she focuses on finding new ways for the the classroom and course policies to support all students.  Her courses have focused on a variety of themes, including: Freedom of Speech and Cancel Culture; the American Food System; Post-apocalyptic Novels and Films; and Metamorphosis.  

Dr. King received her B.A. in English and Economics from Northwestern University, and her M.A. and PhD in American Literature (her dissertation focused on late 20th century American novels, the depiction of the return to pre-modern societies, and masculinity) from University of Illinois at Chicago.


“Father Knows Best: Manhood in David Bradley and Philip Roth.”  Philip Roth Studies (Fall 2013).

“‘Where is Your Country?’: Locating White Masculinity in All the Pretty Horses.”  The Cormac McCarthy Journal (Spring 2014).

"Graphic Representations of ‘Vietnam Syndrome’: Race and Masculinity in The ‘Nam.” The Other 1980s: Reframing Comics’ Crucial Decade, edited by Brian Cremins and Brannon Costello (LSU Press, 2021).


Seema Kurup

Phone: 847.925.6783
Office: L326

Magdalen McKinley

Associate Professor
Phone: 847.925.6335
Office: L334

Ranjani Murali


Office:  L245

Judi Nitsch

Phone: 847.925.6481
Office: L244
Classes Taught: Eng 095, Eng 100, Eng 101

Background: Dr. Nitsch is dedicated to equitable, socially-just teaching in all of her writing courses. She believes that curriculum should be continually revised to meet the varied and amazing students who enter her virtual or physical classrooms, and she works hard at educating herself on how to better serve her students. She is grateful for her students' energy and generosity, and she loves learning from them. 

Dr. Nitsch earned her Ph.D. in Postcolonial Anglophone Fiction from Indiana University in 2010. She lives with her wonderful partner and their vivacious child in Chicago.


Nitsch, Mary J. “At Home in the Free-Market World: The Neoliberal Cosmopolitian Man in Salman Rushdie’s Fury.” DisClosure, vol. 25, no. 1, 2016, pp. 27–41.

Nitsch, Judi. “Like Nowhere Else: Tourism and the Remaking of Place in Julian Barnes’s ‘England, England.’” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, vol. 48, no. 1, Spring 2015, pp. 45–65.

Nitsch, Judi. “Illusion 2: We Fight to Defend Our Personal Freedoms.” American Wars: Illusions and Realities, 1st ed., Clarity Press, 2008, pp. 27–35.


Christopher Padgett

Phone: 847.925.6440
Office: L320

Paul Peterson

Associate Professor / Co-Chair
Phone: 847.925.6748
Office: D261b

Kris Piepenburg

Associate Professor
Phone: 847.925.6513
Office: C213

Dr. Pearl Ratunil

 Dr. Pearl Ratunil

  Phone: 847.925.6590
  Office: L250
Classes Taught: Eng 101, Eng 102, LIT 115: Fiction, LIT 231: History of Early British Literature, HUM 105 Honors: Humanities

Biography: Pearl Ratunil, Ph.D. earned her B.A. in Literature from Antioch College (Ohio), and her Masters and Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she specialized in Medieval Literature and African American studies. Her dissertation studied images of blackness in 13th century medieval hagiography. She served as Chair of harper's Academy for teaching and Learning from 2015-2016, and as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and inclusion from 2016-2019. her research and teaching interests include mindfulness, contemplative pedagogy, women of color in higher education, social justice, and diversity and inclusion.


Review of Growing Up Filipino, edited by Cecilia Brainard, Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States 29.1 (Winter 2004).

"A Letter from Benjamin Thorpe to George Oliver concerning John Mitchell Kemble and Beowulf," Notes & Queries (June 2004).

Review of Theory and the Premodern Text by Paul Strohm, Symploke10.1-2 (2002): 224-25.

“Is This What We Came For? Costco Cards and AAA Memberships?” Review of the Chicago Asian American Film Showcase, Journal of Asian American Studies 3.4 (Fall 2000): 397-99.


Joshua Sunderbruch

Phone: 847.925.6618
Office: L332

Alicia Tomasian

Phone: 847.925.6971
Office: L318

Elizabeth Turner

Phone: 847.925.6787
Office: L238

Jessica Walsh

Phone: 847.925.6326
Office: L332

Stephanie Whalen

Associate Professor
Phone: 847.925.6324
Office: D263a

Andrew Wilson

Phone: 847.925.6791
Office: D151a


Last Updated: 11/30/22