Sheena Monds teaches courses in rhetoric and composition.

M.A., English Literature, University of Tennessee­, Knoxville
B.S., Communication and English Literature, Florida State University
Certificate in Women’s Studies, Florida State University

Research and/or Creative Interests
Visual Rhetorics; Protest Rhetorics; Hip-­Hop Rhetorics; Filmmaking Technology and Social Media; Intersectional Feminisms, Masculinity and American manhood

Teaching Interests
Rhetoric and Composition; Multi­modal Composition; Visual Rhetoric; Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; Feminist Theory & Pedagogy

Teaching Approach
My teaching approach encourages active engagement, critical thinking, and collaboration. I like to know my students as individuals and work to create an environment where students feel comfortable asking questions, exchanging ideas, seeking criticism, and engaging with classmates. I also believe that learning should extend beyond the classroom and work to create experiential learning opportunities for students that encourage campus and community engagement.

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 at the age of three. 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 nerd girl’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 and beliefs with style and confidence. The world needs better thinkers and better communicators. In the words of George Orwell, “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

I teach Gender Studies because I believe it is essential for individuals to develop a critical lens through which to understand the social and political forces that shape our identity. My goal is to make gender visible and to help students think deeply about how our social concepts of gender impact their lives. To borrow from Adrienne Rich, I teach Women's studies because I am committed to belief that women's minds and experiences (and contributions) are intrinsically valuable and indispensable to any civilization worthy of the name. 

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, mutual respect, critical thinking, active engagement, and students who take responsibility for their learning. I appreciate kindness, openness, depth, and curiosity. I detest laziness, excuses, and refusals to think deeply or critically. I ask my students to battle apathy, easy answers, passivity, and a culture of superficiality and skimming. I want students who are not too cool to take their learning seriously. For more, see “Claiming an Education” by Adrienne Rich.

Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I love yoga, astrology, the ocean, introverting, and live music. When I'm not professoring, you can find me with my little coven of delightful friends laughing too loudly over a pitcher of margaritas.