Jody Swilky

Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of English
Contact Info: 

Phone:  515-271-2853

Office:  Howard Hall 324


Office Hours: 

M 11-12 and 2-3;  W 2-4

and by appointment

I received a doctorate in rhetoric and composition studies (SUNY-Albany), and I did graduate work in creative writing as well, receiving an MFA from the University of Iowa. Since 1988, when I arrived at Drake, I have been teaching courses in language theory, writing, cultural criticism, and filmmaking. In many of those courses, I offer students the opportunity to write across the divisions in English studies. My research and publications are primarily in the fields of writing studies and educational reform, and I continue to write and publish poetry. In addition, I have recently written and co-produced  a documentary film, A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa,which received The Gold Eddy, the highest award in the category of Professional Documentary, at the 2007 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. The film has had over thirty public screenings in Iowa, New York and California, been shown several times on Iowa Public Television, and is currently airing on The Documentary Channel.

Recent Publications: 

"Constructing Disciplinary Space: The Borders, Boundaries and Zones of English." (with Daniel Mahala). JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Writing, Multiple Literacies, and Politics

“Excavating the Ruins of Undergraduate English.” (with Bruce  Horner, et al.) Beyond English Inc.: Curricular Reform in a Global Economy. Eds. David B., Downing, Claude Mark Hurlbert., and Paula Mathieu. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

"Geographical Designs: Rethinking Reform in the Humanities." (with Daniel Mahala). JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Writing, Multiple Literacies, and Politics


Presentations, Readings, and Performances: 

Selected  Screenings on Campuses and at Conferences 2009 – 2012

Technologico de Monterrey (Guadalajara, Mexico), Iowa Council of International

Understanding, Northwest Iowa Community College, Midwest Sociological Society,

Manhattan College, SUNY at Geneseo, Iowa Western Community College, St. Thomas

Aquinas College, Mount Mercy College, Loras College, Iowa Culture and Language

Conference,  Central College, Cornell College, Conference for Diversity Directors and Multicultural Educators.

Grants and Awards: 


National Endowment for the Humanities,Summer Stipend Grant, 2013    

Ronald Troyer Research Fellowship, Drake University, 2012-13

Centennial Scholar, College of Arts & Sciences, Drake University, 2008-10

Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, Best Professional Documentary, 2007

Iowa Arts Council Media Grant, 2005

Humanities Iowa, Multimedia Grant, 2004-05

Madelyn Levitt Teacher of the Year Award, Drake University, 2002

Teacher of the Year, College of Arts & Sciences, Drake University  2000-01

Curriculum Vitae: