Peggy Herring
Administrative Assistant
English, Rhetoric, & Humanistic Studies

P: (540) 464-7240
F: (540) 464-7779

227 Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA  24450 


Pennie J. Ticen, Ph.D.

Pennie TicenAssociate Professor
English, Rhetoric, & Humanistic Studies

Ph.D. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.A. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst 
B.A. - Mount Holyoke College

223 Scott Shipp Hall
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA  24450
P:  (540) 464-7479
F:  (540) 464-7779
E:  ticenpj@vmi.edu  


Lt. Col. Ticen is an Associate Professor of English Literature in the Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies. She taught at The University of Montevallo, in Alabama, where she was active in the formation of their program in undergraduate research, before joining the VMI faculty in 2003. Her service in support of VMI’s co-hosting of the Nineteenth National Conference on Undergraduate Research (with Washington and Lee University) earned her a certificate of excellence in 2005.

Lt. Col. Ticen’s graduate work focused on the use of myth and epic in the works of James Joyce, Salman Rushdie, and Derek Walcott. As a specialist in twentieth century British Literature, she has taught courses in modernism, post-colonial literature, South Asian Indian literature in English, African literature, Caribbean literature, and contemporary literary theory. Her current research centers on the use of the essay by post-colonial writers such as Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Salman Rushdie, and Arundhati Roy. She has been awarded faculty development grants to attend the Wye Faculty Seminar in 2006 and the Jessie Ball DePont Seminar for Liberal Arts College Faculty in 2003.

Lt. Col. Ticen has been active professionally within her field as a referee/reviewer for scholarly articles that have been published in Currents in Teaching and Learning, College English, and South Atlantic Review. She has been an active member of the South Asian Literary Association for twelve years, serving on its governing board as an executive committee member, organizational treasurer, and conference co-chair in 2004, when she was also co-editor of the conference proceedings.

Selected Publications and Presentations include:

  • “’We’re Not Adversaries’: An Interview with Bharati Mukherjee”, with Dr. Robin Field, in South Asian Review, 2010 Special Topic: Postcolonial Considerations, 31.1, 247-261.
  • Book Review. Rhetorical Investigations: Studies in Ordinary Language Criticism by Walter Jost, in Studies in American Culture 28.2 October 2005, 2002-2005.
  • “Demanding Center Stage: Salman Rushdie’s Essays as Public Performance”, South Asian Literary Association Conference, Seattle, WA, 2012.
  • “Skeptical Belief and Faithful Questioning: Interrogating Realism and Bolstering Mythology in The Satanic Verses”, South Asian Literary Association Conference, Los Angeles, CA, 2010.
  • “’because fate has conspired to make my voice heard’: Voicing a Woman’s Rage in the Essays of Arundhati Roy”, South Asian Literary Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2008.
  • “Exploring the Rhetoric of Social Justice in the Essays of Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy”, South Asian Literary Association Conference, Chicago IL, 2007.
  • “’Lines in the Dirt Were All Very Well but They Only Delayed Matters’: Smudging and Blurring the Hard Lines of Nation and History in Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown”, South Asian Literary Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 2006.
  •  “Ignorant Armies Clashing by Night?: Dueling Paradigms on the Undergraduate Research Landscape”, Modern Language Association Conference, Washington DC, 2005.
  • “’half strange and half strangely familiar’: Love in Pico Iyer’s The Global Soul”, Modern Language Association Conference, Philadelphia PA, 2004.
  • “Reading What We Are Not: White Male Readers in the Lands of the ‘Other’”, Modern Language Association Conference, Philadelphia PA, 2004.
  • “’As for myself, the migrant, the man without frontiers’: Exploring Transnational Politics in Salman Rushdie’s Essays”, Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, Savannah GA, 2004.
  • “’Where the false barriers go down’: Resistance Opportunities in Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry”, South Atlantic Modern Language Association Convention, 2003.

Since arriving at VMI, Lt. Col. Ticen has immersed herself in cadet life through her service as Assistant Officer in Charge in Barracks and as a facilitator with Cadet Counseling’s CTT Training Time for Rats. She has led groups of cadets on study tours to London four times in the past decade, helping them to more deeply understand British Literature through cultural immersion via theater, museums, historical landmarks, manuscript archives, and contemporary cuisines. In addition, she has served as a mentor for a number of cadet research projects and presentations, including the following:

  • Franzino, Rob: “Energizing Cameron Hall”, Second Place, First-Year Composition, 2012 VMI Academic Writing Contest.
  • McCarron, Gabi: “Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses: A Text Intended to Challenge the Level of Man’s Consciousness”, Independent Study, 2011.
  • McCauley, Sean: “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all: Shakespeare’s Commentary on Man’s Nature in Hamlet and Othello”, VMI Poetry Symposium: The Power of Poetry, 2011.
  • Resetar, Laura: Poems, VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2009.
  • Resetar, Laura: Poems, VMI Poetry Symposium, 2009.
  • Edwards, Travis: Poems, VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2009.
  • Resetar, Laura: Poems, VMI Poetry Symposium, 2008.
  • Jones, Shaun: “Reading Conrad: History, Duality, and Imperialism”, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University, 2005.
  • Jones, Shaun:“Reading Conrad: History, Duality, and Imperialism”, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship, Sweet Briar College, 2004.
  • Jones, Shaun: “Conrad: A Look at Modernism and Post-Colonialism in Early Twentieth Century Literature”, SURI, 2004.