Elizabeth Hess

Elizabeth Hess

Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (805) 565-6260
Email: ehess@westmont.edu
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 103

Office Hours
Spring 2018
T 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Shakespeare in performance, theatre history, dramatic literature, modern and contemporary British and Irish poetry, Greek tragedy

Elizabeth Hess has taught at Westmont since 2002, shuttling happily between the departments of English and Theatre Arts.  Teaching in two departments affords her an interdisciplinary view of the craft of literature, and allows for an exploration of texts as both lasting documents of culture and ephemeral moments of connection within community.  An alumna of Westmont, she has the distinction of having been on more Westmont England Semesters than any other person alive, having gone on a total of seven, and is now happily involved in planning for the eighth. 

Elizabeth’s husband, Kevin, serves as Westmont’s Senior Director of Information Technology, and their son Liam, currently in elementary school, thinks he might want to be an astrophysicist when he grows up.  When Elizabeth is not at Westmont, she may be found often at Trinity Episcopal Church, where she runs the Sunday school program as Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, and serves as a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.



M. A.:    University of California, Santa Barbara, 2002
                          Dramatic Art

B. A.:     Westmont College, summa cum laude, 1998
                          English and Dramatic Literature

Teaching Experience

Adjunct Assistant Professor, 2014-present, Westmont College, Department of English       

Courses taught:

  • Composition
  • Studies in Literature
  • Writers in Conversation: Verse and Verity
  • Studies in World Literature: Postcolonial Anglophone Lit
  • 20th Century Poetry
  • Topics in Classical Literature: Classical Myth and the Contemporary Imagination

Lecturer in English and Humanities, Aug. 2011-May 2014
Brooks Institute, Department of Liberal Arts

Courses taught:

  • Composition
  • Advanced Composition
  • Modern Literature
  • Dramatic Literature
  • Narrative Form                                                                                                                                        

Graduate Studies Writing Tutor, Aug. 2011-Dec. 2012, Brooks Institute, MFA in Photography Program

Adjunct Instructor of English and Theatre Arts, 2006-2007, and 2009-2013, Westmont College       

Courses taught:

  • Composition
  • Studies in Literature
  • Great Literature of the Stage
  • Theatre History I
  • Acting I
  • Survey of Theatre Arts

Instructor and Co-leader, England Semester, 2002, 2008

Westmont College, Department of English

Courses taught:

  • Shakespeare in Performance
  • British Novel
  • Verse and Verity: Trans-historical British Christian Poets
  • Encountering the Cultures of the British Isles
  • Contemporary Irish Poetry
  • Contemporary British and Irish Theatre

Graduate Teaching Assistant, 2001-2004

University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Dramatic Art

Courses taught:

  • Introduction to Acting (instructor of record)
  • Theatre Appreciation

Professional Development

  • Dramaturg.  Marisol; Sam Martin, director; senior performance project; Westmont College Festival Fringe, 2013.
  • Dramaturg.  Much Ado About Nothing; Mitchell Thomas, director.  Westmont Festival Theatre, 2012.
  • Faculty project advisor.  “Cling”; Stephanie Farnum, author and director; senior performance project; Westmont College Festival Fringe: Freshly Sliced, 2012.
  • Faculty project chair. “Inspiration Resigns”; Hannah Rae Moore, author, director, and performer; senior performance project; Westmont College Festival Fringe: Refresh, 2011.
  • Faculty project advisor.  “Glass”; Joyelle Ball, author and director; senior performance project; Westmont College Festival Fringe: Refresh, 2011.
  • Faculty project advisor. “Nemesis”; Matt Dorado, director and screenwriter; film project; Westmont College Festival Fringe: Refresh, 2011.
  • Production Consultant.  The Wonderful Adventures of Nils; John Blondell, director.  Lit Moon Theatre Company, 2010.
  • Faculty project advisor.  The Servant of Two Masters; Jessie Drake, dramaturg and Green Show director; senior research and performance project; Westmont Festival Theatre, 2010.
  • Faculty project advisor. The Servant of Two Masters; Heather Ostberg, director of clowning and performer; senior performance project, Westmont Festival Theatre, 2010.
  • Research Assistant. Close to the Next Moment: Interviews from a Changing Ireland, Ed. Jody Allen Randolph. Manchester: Carcanet, 2010.
  • Dramaturg.  By the Bog of Cats . . .; Judith Olauson, director.  Theatre UCSB, 2006.
  • Dramaturg.  now then again; Alyssa Mullen, director.  Theatre UCSB, 2005.
  • Dramaturg.  Back Bog Beast Bait; Maggie Mixsell, director. Theatre UCSB, 2004
  • Dramaturg, Marisol; Brian Desmond, director.  Theatre UCSB, 2004.
  •  “‘Through a Glass Darkly’: The Production Notebook as Research Countertext” [presentation]; “The Dramaturg and the Performance Archive,” American Society for Theatre Research; Duke University, 2003.
  • Director.  ‘M’ is for Moon, Among Other Things.  Theatre UCSB, 2002.
  • “Irishness Besieged: Context, Theory, and Identity in the work of Marina Carr” [presentation]; Dramatic Art Graduate Symposium; UCSB, 2003.
  • Dramaturg, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Timothy Scholl, director.  Theatre UCSB, 2002
  • “If the Inmates Ran the Asylum: Reimagining Graduate Education in the 21st Century” [presentation]; Association for Theatre in Higher Education; San Diego, 2002.
  • “Household Goods/Household Gods: The Pantheon as Market Place in Yoruba Mythology and Death and the King’s Horseman” [presentation]; Dramatic Art Graduate Symposium; UCSB, 2001.
  • “Raising a Northern Voice in a Southern Space: The Mysteries as Popular Theatre” [presentation]; “Room for Play: Drama, Theatre, and Performativity”; USC, 2001.

Honors and Awards

Comprehensive Examinations passed “with distinction” , 2002
Regents Fellow, UCSB, 2000 - 2004
Philip and Aida Siff Fellowship, UCSB, 2000 - 2001
First Senior Award for cumulative GPA, Westmont College, 1998
Outstanding Graduate in English, Westmont College. 1998
Outstanding Graduate in Theatre Arts, Westmont College, 1998