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Janine Utell Offers Accessible Introduction to Storytelling with Book “Engagements with Narrative”

Dr. Janine Utell

Dr. Janine Utell

Dr. Janine Utell, professor and chair of English at Widener University, has published “Engagements with Narrative” with academic publisher Routledge (a division of Taylor & Francis). This book is part of the Routledge Engagements with Literature series, which offers students and instructors new ways to engage with literature by balancing foundational information and key topics with new developments and trends. The series is edited by Dr. Daniel Robinson, professor of English at Widener.

In “Engagements with Narrative,” Utell teaches the key concepts of narrative—time, space, character, perspective, setting—while facilitating conversations among different approaches and media, and opening paths to new inquiry. According to the publisher, the book is ideal for readers needing an introduction to the field, as well as for those seeking insight into both its historical developments and new directions.

Utell says, “Whether readers are looking for a guide to different kinds of stories, an introduction to narrative theories or insight into current trends such as multimedia storytelling or narrative ethics, I hope they’ll find plenty to enjoy and learn from.”  Purchase Utell’s “Engagements with Narrative” on Amazon or at

Utell is the recipient of the 2014 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching at Widener University. The award recognizes her commitment to assessment as a way to refine and advance pedagogy and her success in making her classroom both a challenging and welcoming environment.

Utell was also named the 2013 outstanding researcher in humanities by Widener University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Her research has made her an internationally recognized scholar of James Joyce and British literary modernism.  Her first book, “James Joyce and the Revolt of Love,” was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2010. She has since published articles on Joyce and other writers of his time in peer-reviewed journals such as “James Joyce Quarterly,” “The Journal of Modern Literature” and “College Literature.” In 2015 she assumed the position of editor for the journal “The Space Between:  Literature and Culture 1914-1945.”

“Engagements with Narrative” reflects an additional agenda for Utell – a concentration on print, digital and visual narrative and narrative theory. Her next project is an extended study of intimate life writing in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Utell, a resident of Philadelphia, has taught at Widener since 2003. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing and French from Barnard College, Columbia University. She earned a master’s degree in English from The Catholic University of America, where she focused on 20th-Century British Literature. She then earned a Ph.D. in English from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where her major field was British Modernism/20th-Century Studies.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,