Sheena Monds teaches courses in rhetoric and composition.

Degrees
BS: Communication and English Literature, Florida State University Certificate in Women’s Studies, Florida State University
MA: English Literature, University of Tennessee­, Knoxville

Research and/or Creative Interests
Visual Rhetoric and multimodal communication Hip­Hop Rhetorics
Technology and Social Media
Women’s and Gender Studies
Sexuality
Political and Social Movements
Feminist Theory
Masculinity and American manhood
Cultural Criticism

Teaching Interests
Rhetoric and Composition, Multi­modal Communication, Technology and New medias, Women’s and Gender studies, Visual Rhetoric

Teaching Approach
This could get rather lengthy, so I’ll hit the highlights­ Active engagement, open dialogue and discussion, honest criticism, meaningful conversation, individual feedback, workshopping, walking carefully through the process, conferencing, asking important questions, pushing boundaries, exploring new ideas, respecting others, daring to question even our most deeply held beliefs and worldviews.

Why did you become an English professor?
My mom will tell you that she knew I was going to be a professor ever since I insisted on sleeping with my favorite copy of
Peter Pan instead of my baby dolls. I, on the other hand, didn’t come around to the idea until I spent four, soul ­crushing years selling insurance and variable annuities to pay my way through college. There’s nothing like a little pain and disillusionment to make you realize that you should spend your life doing the thing that feeds your soul. For me, my soul is fed in the live exchange of ideas that happen in classroom. I get to reintroduce students to their curiosity and get to feed mine in the process. It’s this nerdgirl’s paradise!

Why teach X?
I teach Rhetoric and Composition because there is nothing more exciting than providing students with a powerful framework for learning to think well and to communicate their ideas clearly and engagingly! The world needs better thinkers and better communicators.

To borrow shamelessly from Audre Lorde, I teach women’s studies for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they are so terrified (or conditioned not to use it), because we are taught to respect fear (and tradition) more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.

Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I am originally from Florida and spend a good part of my summer (and any free moment I can find) lounging on the beach, frolicking in the water, and reading/writing oceanside. Otherwise, I’m out chasing sunshine or making mischief with my nieces, Ally and Ava, and my nephews, Max and Kade. They give me the perfect excuse to be a perpetual child! Throw in occasional yoga, live music, margaritas, friends, inappropriate banter, and cats, and you’ve got a pinboard of my life!

What are your expectations of students?
I expect honesty, critical thinking, active engagement, and students who take responsibility for their learning. I appreciate kindness, openness, and curiosity. I detest laziness, excuses, and refusals to think deeply or critically. I like students who do battle daily to defeat apathy, easy answers, passivity, and a culture of superficiality and skimming. I like students who aren’t too cool to take their learning seriously. For more, see “Claiming an Education” by Adrienne Rich.

What's something about you that might surprise your students?
My friends call me Madame Cleo, because I am ridiculously obsessed with Astrology (Don’t judge me). Tupac Shakur was my first real celebrity crush. Now, this early love manifests in my fascination with hip­ hop rhetorics.
I made my television debut reading
Charlotte’s Webb on kid’s book show (something like Reading Rainbow).
I had to wear a piratantical eye patch after an unfortunate accident with a fishing hook in church.