Ken Smith

Ken Smith
Associate Professor of English

Contact Information

Office Location: Wiekamp Hall, Room DW3123
Office Phone: (574) 520-4173

Go Here for current Office Hours


Ph.D. University of Iowa, English and American Literature, Rhetoric and Composition, 1992
M.A. University of Iowa, Expository Writing, 1982
M.F.A. Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, 1981
B.A. University of Missouri, English, 1978

I have worked at IUSB for sixteen years, teaching a variety of writing and literature courses in the English department and courses on interdisciplinary topics in the Master of Liberal Studies program. I enjoy teaching classes that concentrate on conversation and close reading, especially when we can talk about literary works, society, and the writing and thinking tools that we each need to make our way in life.

I regularly write and record essays for our region’s National Public Radio affiliate station, 88.1 WVPE, where they appear every few weeks on Fridays at 7:35 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. as part of the Michiana Chronicles series. More than ninety of these essays are archived on the Chronicles website.

I edit the journal Confluence for the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, a group of more than 125 graduate programs across North America that share an interest in interdisciplinary study. I work with graduate students and advanced undergraduates on editing scholarly and creative works for this journal.

I also serve as director and editor for Wolfson Press, IUSB’s book publishing group sponsored by the Master Liberal Studies program. The press is currently working on books of regional civil rights history. Wolfson Press also creates opportunities for students to gain experience in publishing.

My recent research has been on the subject of public writing—the kinds of writing that support the good work of active citizenship, especially using social media and web publication. In 2010 I gave a public talk about the role Twitter users played in a recent political struggle between a British newspaper and an international corporation accused of dumping toxic waste in Africa. This story provides a way of thinking about the aspects of community, social structure, and genre that make the public writing of citizens matter.


Essays and Prose Style
Writing for Radio, Writing for Civic Engagement
Social Media, Blogging, Web Publishing, Podcasting
Book and Journal Editing, Design, and Publishing
Rhetoric and Composition

Courses Regularly Taught at IU South Bend

W131 Elementary Composition
L202 Literary Interpretation
W250 Writing in Context (Writing, Food, and Culture)
W314 Writing for the Web
G660 Stylistics
D511 Shakespeare in Performance
D600 Public Intellectual Practicum (MLS Program)