Faculty Member



Fredrick (Rick) Barton is Writer in Residence and Research Professor, at the University of New Orleans where he was the founding director of the Creative Writing Workshop. He has taught in the summer abroad program in Madrid, San Miguel and Cork. He is the author or editor of ten books, including the volume of essays, Rowing to Sweden, the short fiction anthology, Monday Nights and the novels The El Cholo Feeling PassesCourting PandemoniumWith Extreme Prejudice and A House Divided, which won the William Faulkner Prize in fiction. His most recent novel, In the Wake of the Flagship is the story of a university's struggle to recover from a devastating hurricane. His many awards include a Louisiana Arts Prize; the Stephen T. Victory Award, the Louisiana Bar Association’s prize for writing about legal issues; the New Orleans Press Club's annual criticism prize 11 times; and the Press Club highest honor, the Alex Waller Memorial Award. In 2009 he was given an honorary doctorate for career achievement by Valparaiso University. In addition serving as academic director this summer, he will also teach Intensive Fiction writing. 





Mary Breen

Irish Literature & Culture

Mary Breen is a Lecturer at the University County Cork. Her main area of research in the last decade has been Irish Women's writing, in particular fiction and autobiography, and she has published in both areas. She is currently in the second year of a major three-year project on print culture in Ireland from 1770-1830.


Elizabeth Collison

Advanced Fiction Writing
Intro to Creative Writing


Elizabeth Collison grew up in the Midwest and now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has worked as an editor, graphic artist, and technical writer. Some Other Town is her first novel.



Cavan Hallman

Intensive Scriptwriting
Acting Styles

Cavan Hallman's writing has been performed at the National WWII Museum, The Elm Theatre, Southern Rep, Strawdog Theatre, Donny’s Skybox, The Artistic Home, RhinoFest, KAPOOT, and Columbia College Chicago, where he received a Bachelor’s in Playwriting. His plays for young audiences have received over 15,000 performances in elementary schools across the country. As an actor he has appeared Off-Broadway and other stages in New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.

He has performed his solo show, Not Easily Forgotten, in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, and Ireland, and is a Resident Artist with The CRY HAVOC Company.



Sonja Livingston

Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Intensive Nonfiction Writing


Sonja Livingston's latest book, Ladies Night at the Dreamland, has been called “a literary search and rescue” that combines imagination and research to conjure the lives of extraordinary and often overlooked historical women. She’s the author of the award-winning memoirs Queen of the Fall and Ghostbread (winner of the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction) and recent essays in Creative NonfictionBrevityFourth GenreEssay Daily, and The Rumpus. Her work is widely anthologized in texts on writing and craft, including in Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essays by WomenBrief EncountersShort TakesPoverty & Privilege:A Reader, and others. Sonja’s nonfiction writing has received fellowships from the New York State Foundation for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Deming Fund, as well as awards from Arts & Letters, the Iowa Review, and AWP. Sonja earned an MFA from the University of New Orleans and an M.S. Ed. from SUNY Brockport. Before coming to VCU, she taught at the MFA Program in University of Memphis. She’s also taught for Writing Workshops Abroad in Edinburgh, San Miguel de Allende, and, most recently, in Cork. For more information, visit sonjalivingston.com



Jarred Marlatt

Introduction to Fiction Writing


Jarred has run the UNO Writing Workshops Abroad programs since 2012, including the past five summers in Cork, Ireland.  He is a recent graduate of the UNO Creative Writing Workshop, where he completed his M.F.A. with a concentration in fiction.  He received his M.A. in English from West Chester University, and a B.A. in English, History, and Theater from Muhlenberg College.  When he’s not taking students abroad, Jarred’s interests include acting, traveling, reading, and the occasional Civil War reenactment.  He is currently revising his first novel.



Laura Medina

Ireland in Cinema


Laura Medina is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans. She joined the faculty in 2011 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in film producing, film directing, film planning and development, and advanced film production. Since 2015 she has also served as the Department’s Graduate Program Coordinator.

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Antioch College and a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from New York University. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America.

Based first in New York, then Los Angeles and now New Orleans, Laura’s production credits on independent and studio feature films, documentaries, TV pilots and series include: producer, co-producer, line producer, associate producer, unit production manager, 2nd unit director and 1st assistant director. She worked on projects that have filmed all across the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, North Africa and Russia.

Laura produced and directed the short film Brokedown Paradise (official selection New Orleans Film Festival, Screen Actors Guild Foundation Women Filmmaker Showcase NY); directed the short film To The Limit (developed and in use as university editing exercise); produced, directed and wrote the short film Heart Attack, (audience award Blue Sky International Film Festival, official selection Marco Island, Fayetteville, Taos Film Festivals) and produced, directed and wrote three nationally distributed PSA commercial campaigns.



Kaethe Schwehn

Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Intensive Nonfiction Writing


Kaethe Schwehn teaches first-year writing and various creative writing courses at St. Olaf College. Though she studied poetry at the University of Montana and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction as well. Her poems and stories have been published in journals such as Crazyhorse, Jubilat, Pleiades, and the anthology Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed, 2008). Her most recent work, a memoir entitled A Year in the Village, has been supported through a Loft Mentor Series award and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. She lives with her husband, Peder, and their daughter, Thisbe, in Northfield.



Elizabeth Steeby

Sexuality in Fiction

Dr. Elizabeth Steeby received her Ph.D. in Literature in 2008 from UC, San Diego, with a focus on U.S. Southern literature and the cultural adaptation of the plantation for the 20th century. She is currently working on a book-length project that considers the "neoplantation" as a critical site for regional struggles involving the division of labor and structures of race and sexuality. Her project considers the connections that plantation slavery, its legacies, and its resistors forged between the U.S. the Caribbean, and beyond. New Orleans continues to be an everyday inspiration in mapping these intersections and witnessing the power of public performance.

Her broad research interests include multiethnic U.S. literature, the history of social justice movements, queer theory, and the relationship between culture and empire. Her local interests often revolve around disaster capitalism, the politics of the city block, anti-prison activism, and notions of reconciliation vs. reckoning.

She has forthcoming articles on radical intimacy in the era of Jim Crow fascism, biopolitics and disaster management of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, and the autobiographical narratives of political prisoners.

In 2011, she won the English Graduate Organization's Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award.

She teaches courses in U.S. Modernism, Southern literature, New Orleans regional literature, transnational American literature, and gender and sexuality studies at UNO. She has also taught literature at the Orleans Parish Prison as part of the Orleans Parish Prison Project.



Robin Werner

Irish Ghost Stories

Robin Werner received her B.A. from St. Lawrence University and both her M.A. and Ph.D. from Tulane. She has taught at Tulane and was a seminar leader at the Dickens Universe, a one week program held at the University of California. Robin's research and pedagogical interests are in Victorian Literature, Women and Gender Studies, Theatre History, and Fantasy and Children's Literature. She has taught a variety of special topics courses on children's fantasy literature, supernatural fiction, and Victorian gender roles. Dr. Werner's teaching interests include Fantasy, Horror, Fairy Tales, Victorian Literature, and Gender.



James Winter

Intensive Scriptwriting
Acting Styles

Jim Winter teaches Acting and Theatre History for Southeastern Louisiana University. He is also a professional actor, director, playwright, and producer. His plays have been produced in New York, Cleveland, Texas, Louisiana and Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2010, Jim directed the Southeastern Theatre production of the original play, Parking Lot Babies, which won seven national commendations for excellence.





For more information about the Writing Workshops Abroad, please contact:
Program Coordinator, Jarred Marlatt, Division of International Education
writingabroad@uno.edu | 504-280-7345 | (During Program) 353 894 976 697


University of New Orleans, Division of International Education, 2000 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans LA 70148
phone 504-280-7116; fax 504-280-7317; e-mail isp@uno.edu

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