Sean Murray

Associate Professor

My journey as an educator began in the fall of 1998, when I stepped into a 7th grade Language Arts classroom as a student-teacher.  When my cooperating teacher was whisked away without warning, I found myself suddenly alone with a roomful of rambunctious tweens.  The details of what happened next are foggy, but I do remember being overwhelmed by a wave of dread and panic.  Thankfully, those initial emotions have long since been transformed into an excitement that keeps me returning to the classroom.

A year later, with a Master of Arts in Teaching English and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Binghamton University, I started teaching high school English in upstate New York.  Over the next three years, various interactions with students and colleagues sparked my interest in writing pedagogy, critical thinking, and the politics of education.  Subsequently, I found myself back at Binghamton University in 2002, this time working towards a doctorate in English.  My coursework and field exams covered a broad range of subjects, including composition theory, 20th century American literature, and gender studies; likewise, I taught a diverse array of courses, including rhetoric, public speaking, science fiction, and horror fiction.

In 2007, after defending my dissertation entitled Composition Incorporated: Turbo Capitalism, Higher Education, and the Teaching of Writing, I came to St. John's Institute for Writing Studies.  The faculty here, with academic backgrounds ranging from composition to literary theory to creative writing, have helped me envision the limitless possibilities for teaching college writing.  My current interests include critical pedagogy, academic service-learning, and helping to build a campus Fair Trade campaign.