Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill
Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill, Ph.D., FRSA, is a wife, mother, and poet. She is also a professor and the graduate program director, in the Department of English Literature and Language, at St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas. A recipient of numerous teaching and service awards, she is the author of three previous books and a range of scholarly and feature articles. She is the recipient of a United States Institute of Peace grant, the Edward and Linda Speed Peace and Justice Fellowship and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London.
She has facilitated a variety of workshops on story, forgiveness, and service locally and internationally at “Storywork: A Summer School in Narrative Practice” at the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Centre, Northern Ireland, where she and her family spent a year volunteering (2010-2011) and she studied Gaeilge/Irish language, conflict resolution and ethical remembering. She has also studied in the United Kingdom, Israel, and Jordan, and has led study abroad trips to England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Her course repertoire includes Narrative Theory, featuring an evening of student storytelling, and Writing to Change the World, featuring student outreach on contemporary issues.
Mary Lynne was born in Belleville, Illinois, and was educated at Our Lady Queen of Peace parish school and Althoff Catholic High School, which named her a Distinguished Alumna. She then earned five university degrees across four disciplines (Linguistics, English, Political Science and Anthropology). She and her family now live in San Antonio, Texas, in the company of the deer, foxes, red tail hawks, caracaras, and Texas barn owls, with whom they share a patch of Earth.
As an interdisciplinary scholar, she weaves theories and methods from each of her disciplines into her courses, undergraduate and graduate, as well as into her research. This interweaving is animated in her courses such as Language and Peace; Narrative Theory; Tolkien and Lewis: Mapping Friendship in Middle Earth, Narnia and San Antonio; the History of the English Language; and How English Works. It also allows her to assist students with integrating their intellectual life with their co-curricular experiences, in all of her courses, as they craft their personal, professional, and civic stories.
Stories of protest, in chants, poems, songs and prose, are the basis of Hill’s latest book, The Language of Protest: Acts of Performance, Identity, and Legitimacy (2018). Students, through the McNair Scholars and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) programs, participated in the research, design, and publishing process of this project.
As a teacher, Dr. Hill incorporates technology into all of her courses ranging from the production of e-portfolios including LinkedIn profiles, to sentence diagramming via Coggle and Prezi, to curating Pecha Kuchas, social media posts and videos into Scalar and into the University’s Digital Commons. Her Medieval Literature course produced a full-length movie, State Dinner Disaster, which brought to life characters from The Canterbury Tales and the Arthurian legends. Playing with various technologies in the classroom has fueled research articles such as “Digital Diagramming” in Practical Composition: Classroom Exercises for the Composition Instructor (2014) and in presentations such as “Negotiating Borders through Digital Collaboration” at the Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference (2016).