Rachel Fomalhaut

Lecturer, Writing
Office: Smiddy Hall 406, Ithaca, NY 14850

Rachel Fomalhaut is a teacher and scholar of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, English, and Writing. Originally hailing from Long Island and California, she has since lived, worked, and traveled in many different locales both within the U.S. and abroad. After studying at the Università di Bologna and earning her BA with Honors in Literature from University of California at Santa Cruz, she went on to study interdisciplinary humanities and received her Master’s degree in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture from Binghamton University.

Fomalhaut has been teaching undergraduate courses in traditional, hybrid, and online settings since 2008. Her courses span multiple disciplines and constellate around themes of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, with a particular focus on gender, sexuality, race, and accessibility issues. She regularly teaches Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Introduction to Feminist Theory, and Academic Writing, as well as having taught several sections of Screening SexualityPersonal EssayArgument, Women and SocietyExtraordinary Bodies, and numerous other self-designed courses in the fields of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Composition, and English. Long dedicated to a student-centered pedagogical approach, Fomalhaut has taught diverse populations of students in public university, four-year private college, and community college settings. She greatly enjoys advising and otherwise working with students outside the classroom.

Fomalhaut is currently editing her dissertation in English, General Literature, and Rhetoric, titled The Affective Representation of Loss in Contemporary Multicultural Women’s Literature. Her dissertation focuses on the myriad ways in which contemporary women writers engage with affect to represent culturally specific experiences of loss in fiction, with a full chapter devoted to pedagogy. Fomalhaut has had her work published as book chapters in The Oracle of the “tiny finger snap of time”: A Study of Novels with a Specific Time Culture and in Real-Life Writers: Composition Courses as Pathways for Student Success. She has also organized and moderated panels and presented papers at numerous regional and national conferences.

Fomalhaut also serves as the Chair of the IC Contingent Faculty Union, working to improve working and learning conditions in higher education. Fomalhaut agrees with New Faculty Majority’s Maria Maesto’s assertion that “faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.”