Nels Highberg

Nels Highberg headshot

Professor of English and Modern Languages

English and Modern Languages

College of Arts and Sciences
860.966.3356 A 212B

PhD, University of Illinois

MA, Ohio State University

BA, University of Houston

Nels Highberg is a Professor of English and Modern Languages with graduate coursework in women’s studies, rhetoric, history, science studies, art history, education, composition, and architecture. He has served as the Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Teaching Humanist and received the Donald W. Davis University Interdisciplinary Studies Teaching Award and a Greenberg Junior Faculty Research Grant.

He has served as the Chair of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, the Interim Chair of Cinema, and the Director of the Program in Gender Studies. He scholarship in writing studies and medical humanities includes co-editing “Landmark Essays in Basic Writing” and “Writing Groups Inside and Outside the Classroom” and publishing in journals such as “Feminist Teacher,” “Medical Humanities Review,” and “Feminist Formations.” He was a Scholar in Residence at New York University for Fall 2011.

Upon the closure of RPW in 2014, Nels’ teaching shifted to 100-level general education courses, and his research has moved from scholarly writing to creative writing and mixed-media art. His prose and poetry have been published in “Brevity,” “Catapult,” “Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine,” and other places. He received an Artistic Excellence Award from the State of Connecticut for his writing in 2020 and has had artwork included in exhibitions curated by the School of the Visual Arts and other locations.

At the annual College of Arts and Sciences First-Year Symposium, his students have won awards for the Best Demonstration of Critical Thinking, the Best Demonstration of Creative Thinking, and the Most Interdisciplinary Project. He is a UIS Faculty Fellow for 2023.

Interest Areas

  • Interdisciplinary arts and humanities
  • Medical humanities
  • Gender studies
  • Border studies