Jeannette E. Riley

  • Professor, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Phone: 401.874.2566
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 257 Chafee Social Science Ctr


Jeannette E. Riley currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Professor Riley received her Ph.D. in English in post-1945 American and British Literature and Literary Theory in 1998. Professor Riley’s research interests focus on women’s literature, with an emphasis on contemporary women writers and feminist theory. She has published articles on Eavan Boland, Terry Tempest Williams, Adrienne Rich, and Toni Morrison. Her writings on Adrienne Rich have appeared in ‘Catch if you can your country’s moment’: Recovery and Regeneration in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich; From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born; and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is the author of Understanding Adrienne Rich (2016), from the University of South Carolina’s Understanding Contemporary American Literature series. Professor Riley’s work also includes publications on feminist pedagogy and online/blended teaching and learning.

During her career, Professor Riley has taught a range of courses including Post-1945 American Fiction, Contemporary Women Writers, American Poetry, Survey of American Literature since 1865, Critical Methods: Theory & Practice, and Introduction to Literature. In the field of Gender and Women’s Studies, Professor Riley teaches Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies, as well as courses in feminist theory (American feminist theory; Ecofeminism; 3rd Wave Feminism).

Prior to joining the University of Rhode Island, Professor Riley was a Professor of English/Women’s and Gender Studies at UMass Dartmouth (2002-2015). She also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences there (2012-2017). While at UMass Dartmouth, Professor Riley was recognized for her work in assessment (Assessment of Student Learning with Technology Leadership Award, May 2005); online teaching and learning (Sloan-C’s Excellence in Online Teaching Awards, 2008), and she served as the Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair (2011-2013).


American Literature; Poetry and Poetics; Feminist Theory


  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico
  • M.A., University of New Hampshire
  • B.A., Colby College