Portrait of Derek F. DiMattteo
Derek F. DiMatteo is Associate Instructor of English, Managing Editor of Africa Today, and PhD Candidate in the Department of English at Indiana University Bloomington.

Associate Instructor of English

In the fall of 2019, I'm teaching "Immigrants, Refugees, and Returnees" through the Lifelong Learning program. The course will feature woork by Mohsin Hamid, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Caryl Phillips, and Teju Cole. Through their stories, we will explore what it means to migrate someplace new, how migration challenges and strains people’s ties to the lands left behind, the function of memory and forgetting, and the difficulty of going “home” again.

Managing Editor of Africa Today

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the journal, I coordinate the production process, work with authors during the copyediting and page proof stages, field author and reviewer inquiries, provide manuscript status updates to authors, and serve as a liaison between authors/reviewers and the editorial board.

PhD Candidate

My dissertation, "Academic Dissent: Higher Education Protest Literature, 1985-2015," examines cultural works—ranging from films to sculptures—that protest against the corporatization of US higher education institutions, focusing particularly on representations of academic capitalism in these works. My work is in the Departments of English and American Studies. I expect to graduate in May 2020.

Critical Ethnic Studies Symposium

I am one of the co-organizers of the symposium and the coordinator of its graduate student workshop. The 2019 symposium examined the conjunctures of nationalism, borders, and personhood through interdisciplinary lenses on dissent, social movement, ideological restriction or contestation, and state violence.

About My Teaching

Teaching Statement

Because of my wide-ranging classroom experience, I am equally at home coaching fifteen students making extemporaneous speeches in a public speaking course as I am at leading a class of sixty students through alternative critical interpretations of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods,” guiding a class of twenty-five students on making an analytical comparison of the novel and film versions of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, or helping a small group of students in a composition class refine their thesis statements. I am a veteran teacher of composition at levels ranging from remedial to multilingual to advanced. My extensive graduate coursework has prepared me to teach a broad array of courses. I have independently designed and taught a variety of upper- and lower-level courses. I would be comfortable teaching literature survey courses as well as special topics.

In my teaching, I make explicit the relevance of the courses and the assignments to students. When teaching my freshman composition course “Representations of Schooling in US Culture,” students engage with written and visual texts on K-12 education, enthusiastic about reflecting analytically on a stage of life they had recently passed through. I take a different tack with the upper-division students enrolled in my argumentative writing class, directing students to choose research topics from their own fields of inquiry to write about, thereby connecting the course’s rhetorical skills with their own passions more directly. When I teach the introduction to fiction course, which is primarily for non-majors at IU, students learn that the power of narrative applies to all fields, whether it is interpreting scientific data to breathing life into a policy proposal, as students interpret and understand by asking a deceptively simple question, What story is it telling?, which actually moves them beyond plot. Whenever feasible, my courses are structured around text-based discussions using the Socratic Circle protocol, a student-focused activity that dramatically increases student participation and engagement with course texts and concepts. The emphasis is not just on skills but on engaging with ideas. I want my students to see their education as an intellectual journey, not as a series of boxes to check.

Courses Taught

Indiana University Bloomington

Lifelong Learning
Immigrants, Refugees, and Returnees in Literature

College of Arts and Sciences
ENG-L204: Introduction to Fiction (The Uses and Value of Literature)
ENG-W270: Argumentative Writing (Current Debates in Higher Education)
ENG-W231: Professional Writing Skills
ENG-W202: English Grammar Review
ENG-W170: Projects in Reading & Writing (Representations of Schooling in U.S. Culture)
ENG-W131: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I (Gender, Race, and Nation)
* Teaching Assistant for ENG-L260: Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature

GROUPS Scholars Program
ENG-J101: Introduction to College Writing

Lakeland University Japan

General Education
GEN 112: Persuasive Writing
GEN 111: Public Speaking
GEN 110: Expository Writing
GEN 101: Reading Workshop
Freshman Seminar, “Dracula and Critical Theory,” team-taught, June 2010

English for Academic Purposes
EAP/IN-W: Intermediate Writing
EAP/HB-LS: High-Beginner Listening/Speaking
EAP/HI-LS: High-Intermediate Listening/Speaking
EAP/LA-LS: Low-Advanced Listening/Speaking
EAP/IN-R: Intermediate Reading
EAP/HI-R: High-Intermediate Reading
EAP/LA-R: Low-Advanced Reading

Continuing Education Program
LIT 1: Literature Appreciation

Professional Memberships