New Literature, Media, and Communication School Chair Announced

Kelly Ritter

Posted May 23, 2022

Kelly Ritter has been selected to serve as the chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts effective August 1, 2022.

Melissa Ianetta, Executive Director of Writing and Communication and Class of 1934 Professor of Communication, will continue to serve as interim chair until July 31, 2022. Effective immediately, Ritter will work closely with Ianetta to ensure a smooth transition of school leadership.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Ritter join the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.  She is a true leader. Together with the faculty, staff and students in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Dr. Ritter will advance the exceptional writing, critical thinking, media, and arts programs that collaborate broadly across Georgia Tech,” said Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing.

Ritter is an LAS Alumni Distinguished Professorial Scholar, Professor of English and Writing Studies, and Interim Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was previously Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2017-2021), Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education (2016-2017), Interim Director of the Center for Writing Studies (2014-2015), and Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program (2013-2017). She was also a 2018-2019 Faculty Fellow in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Leadership Program. Before joining the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty in 2013, she served as faculty director of the first-year writing programs at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and Southern Connecticut State University.

Ritter’s scholarship focuses on archival histories of U.S. writing programs and pedagogies, and cultural-historical conceptions of social class and literacy education. Her books are “Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920-1960” (NCTE/SIU Press, 2009), “Who Owns School? Authority, Students, and Online Discourse (Hampton Press, 2010), To Know Her Own History: Writing at the Woman's College, 1943-1963” (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) and “Reframing the Subject: Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies” (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). She is also the author of numerous articles and chapters, and editor or co-editor of four collections, including the forthcoming Beyond Fitting In: Rethinking First-Generation Writing and Literacy Education (Modern Language Association, 2023). She is past editor (2012-2017) of College English, a flagship journal of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Ritter received her PhD in English from the University of Illinois-Chicago, her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her BA in English and Communication Studies from the University of Iowa.

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Kelly Petty

Communications Officer