Welcome from Dean Shannon Miller

Photograph of Dean Shannon Miller

Dr. Shannon Miller is the Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San José State University, an urban, comprehensive institution that serves 33,000 students. Committed to the values of the California State University system, Dr. Miller sees San José State University as an engine for social mobility and for producing the next generation of engaged citizens, practicing humanities, and creators of the arts. The college serves 4,200 majors and 26,000 undergraduates through a wide range of courses in humanities and the visual, performing, and literary arts. She oversees 500 faculty and staff who work in eight academic departments, two schools, three centers, and one performing arts center. The college annual budget is $24M exclusive of benefits. The college sponsors more than 500 intellectual, cultural, and artistic events, performances, and exhibits annually.

Dr. Miller is invested in the collaborative and interdisciplinary possibilities within a College of Humanities and Arts. The college seeks to engage the community beyond San José State University through centers like Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, which recently received a $4.8M estate gift, and through collaborations with institutions such as the Knight Foundation. Dr. Miller will spearhead the university’s collaboration with the City of San José on the city-owned, Hammer Theatre Center.

Dr. Miller has been at San José State University since Fall of 2014, when she joined the faculty as the Department Chair of the English and Comparative Literature department. In her three years as department chair, she helped the department revise their curriculum to include project-based courses, implemented processes to clarify department policies, and helped implement the move to Stretch English in the First-Year Writing Program. Before coming to San José State, Shannon Miller chaired the Department of English at Temple University for 6 years; she began teaching at Temple University in 1993. Dr. Miller earned her M.A. and Ph.D. (1991) in Renaissance Literature at UC Santa Barbara, and her B.A. in English at Dartmouth College. She has also taught at Albion College, Michigan, at the University of Utah, and for the University of Pennsylvania in a summer London program.

Professor Miller’s research focuses on Renaissance English Literature, especially John Milton and seventeenth-century women writers. She has received fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, The John Carter Brown Library, and the British Bibliographical Society. She has published two monographs, Invested with Meaning: The Raleigh Circle in the New World (UPenn Press, 1998), and Engendering the Fall: John Milton and Seventeeth-Century Women Writers (UPenn Press, 2008), as well as numerous articles.

Dr. Miller is a native Californian and grew up in Marin County. She enjoys exploring the Central Coast, cooking, and bicycling, as well as exploring the arts in the Bay Area.