James Shivers

Adjunct Professor, Storrs 

Since 2013 I have taught Advance Composition for Prospect Teachers (ENGL 3010) along with Jason Courtmanche.  The course is designed to provide theoretical frameworks and a range of practical methods for teaching writing to High School students.  I explore both traditional and current modes of communication and discourse – from essay writing to media analysis and visual literacy. In the course we constantly explore links between theory and reflection, writing and seeing, and between teacher stance and classroom practice.   I also will do everything I can to encourage your own writing/designing practice, thinking and desire to teach as we go through the course.  Texts I’ve used: Erika Lindemann’s  A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers, Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together:Why we expect more from Technology and less from Each Other, e e cummings, six nonlectures, Susan Howe’s, This That.     


After working at the university level for 15 years, I became a High School English teacher and was certified through the ARC program in Connecticut.

I currently teach at Public Safety Academy, a CREC school, in Enfield.  WNPR ran story on one of my classes and the visual literacy work I’ve been doing with students.  Here’s the link:

In Visually Literate Classrooms, Words are Worth a Thousand Pictures

Before going to PSA, I worked in West Hartford at Hall High School for over 10 years. While there, I developed with Scott Ferguson a Critical Media Studies course that now receives UCONN 1010 credit through the ECE program.

I also served for several years on the Advisory Board of high school ECE teachers formed by Tom Recchio and Jason Courtmanche.

Recent Publications, Conferences, Workshops

A Chorus of listening: Teaching and Assessing creatively with multimodal texts with Jon Callow (University of Sydney), National Conference of Australian Literacy, Adelaide, Australia 7-10, 2016

Poetry and Light; Poetry in Space, Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, Poetry Conference, May 2017

Shivers, J., Levenson, C., & Tan, M. (2017). Visual Literacy, Creativity and the Teaching of Argument. Learning Disabilities — A Contemporary Journal, 15(1), 67-84.

Expanding Literacies, Extending Classrooms, Summer Institute for Teachers, The Yale Center for British Art, June 24-29th, lead teacher.

Blogs, Websites

A Closer Look –  a blog from Department of Education, The Yale Center for British Art, regular contributor.

Web-site: jamesshivers.com

Education, Fellowships

Visiting Fellow, American Studies, Yale University (1999-2004)

Ph.D., Université de Lausanne – Switzerland (2001) Department of English, American Avant-Garde and Visual Poetics

M.A. University of Sheffield, UK (1993) Department of English, Philosophy, and French, The Language and Philosophy of Criticism

B.A. University of Toledo, Ohio (1988) English, Honors Program