Heather James (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley) is an Associate Professor of English in the USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.
She studies the literary and institutional invention of Tudor and Stuart England. Her interests include classical imitation; Shakespeare; genre; political theory; and law. Her book, Shakespeare's Troy: Drama, Politics, and the Translation of Empire (Cambridge, 1997) investigates Shakespeare's theatrical and political uses of the Troy Legend. Among her many accolades is the College's Award for Excellence in Teaching in General Education, 2001.
Over the years she has trained dozens of teaching assistants, mentored junior faculty, and talked widely some might say tirelessly with colleagues in various disciplines about the challenges that make teaching endlessly interesting as a practice and as a topic for discussion and exchange.
She states: "Association with CET provides me with opportunities to carry out my commitments to mentorship and intellectual exchange on a larger scale. I am particularly interested in running a series of seminars for graduate students who are approaching the end of their programs of study and must prepare teaching statements for the academic job market. One of the most instructive aspects of applying for an academic job for the first time is the demand to put one's teaching experience and style into words: to do so calls for the students to step back from the routine and really think about their goals and strategies in the classroom. The ability to articulate their ambitions for students translates, in my view, to an increased ability to see those ambitions through in practice."