Department of English
Shannon Lakanen is an essayist and professor in Otterbein’s English department and Integrative Studies program. She grew up in a working-class family in northern Florida and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At Otterbein, she teaches writing courses in personal essay and memoir, and production courses in podcasting and digital literature for the English department. She has developed several different Integrative Studies courses for first-year students focusing on critically and creatively exploring memory and memoir, living with intentionality, and reflecting on the personal narratives in the digital age.
She also team-teaches, with Dr. Anthony DeStefanis of the History Department, the Integrative Studies seminar on the History and Literatures of the Vietnam War, as well as the Art of Travel Senior Year Experience course with travel to Vietnam and Cambodia (and in collaboration with Dr. Janice Glowski in the Art Department, to Thailand). Even though she isn’t supposed to have favorites, her most beloved class to teach is Otterbein’s Creative Writing Across Genres course, which introduces students to studying the art of creative writing through experimentations in poetry, fiction, essay, and playwriting.
In central Ohio prisons, community organizations, short-term appointments at US and international institutions, she has taught courses in poetry writing, memoir writing, literature & gender, adaptation (short story/novel to film), travel writing, literature of war, and literature of incarceration.
- Ph.D. English – Creative Nonfiction Writing, Ohio University, 2002
- M.A. English – Poetry Writing, Florida State University, 1997
- B.A. English – Creative Writing, University of Tampa, 1995