Composition Instructors

Laura JohnLaura John received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. in the same field from Brandeis, where she is completing her dissertation on the complicated narration of nationalism in Scottish museums. Laura has taught both University Writing Seminars and Composition at Brandeis since 2007, and has also taught in the Anthropology Department and for the Summer School. Her writing classes have approached topics such as the authority of documentary texts (as in the effect of the dueling authors of Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man) and the often subtle power dynamics of museum display (in Philadelphia's Mutter Museum, for example).

Barbara LevyBarbara Levy has a B.A. in English from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Old & Middle English from Cornell University. She taught at the University of Puerto Rico for sixteen years, then was a tutor in History in Literature at Harvard and has taught first-year English at Wellesley and Babson College. For the last twelve years, she has been teaching composition at Brandeis as well as first-year English at Suffolk University and given various language classes at Harvard Extension School's Institute of English Language Programs. She is the author of one book, Ladies Laughing: Wit as Control in Contemporary American Women Writers and published over fifty book reviews for the San Juan Star and several in The Women’s Review of Books.

Scott MooreScott Moore earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Chico, where he taught courses in literature, composition, and rhetoric in writing. During his stay in Northern California, he also spent time as a writing tutor, and worked as a technical writer for the CSU Research Foundation. Having recently defended his dissertation on the failure of meritocracy in nineteenth-century U.S. literature, Scott is set to receive his Ph.D. in English from Brandeis in August 2013. For the Brandeis writing program, he has taught sections of University Writing Seminar engaging topics such as the frontier in the American imaginary, and the manifestation of aristocracy in American literature and culture.

Lisa RourkeLisa Rourke received her B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and her MBA from the Wharton School. More recently, she received an M.A. in English from Brandeis, where she will complete her dissertation on the role of the author in literary criticism this fall. Lisa has taught the University Writing Seminar for the past five years, as well as a literature course on early detective fiction. Her UWS classes have addressed topics including science and the supernatural and the nature/nurture debates illustrated in such works as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.

Gordon Ruesch has taught Brandeis first-semester writers every fall since 1984. Before that, he took a B.A. in English Literature (U.Mass., Amherst), served two conscientious-objector years helping challenged epileptics, and four years in Korea first as Peace Corp tuberculosis-control volunteer, later as a university English instructor.  At Brandeis, despite never quite completing his doctoral dissertation (on Samuel Beckett) he has found rich fulfillment helping Brandeis writers—alongside teaching at Harvard’s Institute for English Language Programs since 1990, in workplace literacy programs, and in A.D. Little MBA English Instruction. Current interests include devising science-focused composition curricula and practical writing instruction for Aspergers/autistic writers.