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New Faculty Introduction - Brendan O'Kelly

January 11, 2024

Professor Brendan O’Kelly joined Northwestern’s Cook Family Writing Program as a lecturer in September 2023. Prior to joining, he taught at the University of Oregon in the Clark Honors College. At the University of Oregon, Professor O’Kelly taught a sequence of first-year writing courses, honors seminars, and scientific and technical writing courses. He also taught courses in literary theory, film studies, comic studies, and humanities. 

With this experience, he is currently teaching Writing in Special Contexts, also known as Design Thinking and Communication in the McCormick School of Engineering . Professor O’Kelly is currently interested in researching theorizations and representations of visions and its limitations in 20th/21st century literature, visual media, and critical theory. He is also interested in writing pedagogy, such as labor-based grading, specifications grading, and ungrading. 

When asked what his biggest piece of advice to succeed was, Professor O’Kelly stated, “Realizing that any piece of writing they are working on is a living document that can always be improved helps to free students from the burden of trying to perfect their writing and/or get things right the first time.”


Written by Nishi Shah, Class of 2024