McCarthy, Sean 200x200 image


Professor and Director of the Cohen Center
Year Started at JMU: 2012
Pronouns: he/his


Ph.D., English, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012

M.A., English, Tulane University, 2006

B.A., English and History (double major), The National University of Ireland, 1994

Professional Focuses

Originally trained in digital writing studies and community engagement, Seán currently writes about and consults on how to best design interdisciplinary, team-based, and applied learning experiences in local and international contexts. He regularly teaches such courses, as well as offerings in digital storytelling and design. Seán is director of The Cohen Center for the Humanities, and is co-director of the award-winning Celebrating Simms project and Mapping the Black Public and Digital Humanities.


Journal Articles

"Mapping Strategies for Black Feminist Biographical Recovery." With Mollie Godfrey. a/b: Autobiography Studies. Fall 2022.

"Toward a Theory of Social Innovation" (2nd author). With Ben Selznick. Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education, Vol 2, Issue 3 November, 2020.

"The Role of Curation in Tenure & Promotion Documentation" (1st author). With Lori Beth De Hertogh and Vanessa Rouillon. Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics. Spring 2020. 

"Uncoupling Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Improve Undergraduate Education" (3rd author). With Nick Swayne, Ben Selznick, and Kimberly Fisher. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. Winter 2019.

"Celebrating Simms: Multiplying the 'Single Story' in Community Engagement Projects." With Molly Godfrey. Public: A Journal of Imagining America. Winter 2017.

"Designing an Engaged Swarm: Toward a Techne for Multi-Class, Interdisciplinary Collaborations with Nonprofit Partners." Community Literacy Journal. Fall 2016.

“Notes Toward a Values-Driven Framework for Digital Humanities Pedagogy.” With Andrew Witmer. Hybrid Pedagogy. Spring 2016. 

"Making an Impact (in three acts)." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34.3. Video. Featured in Justin Hodgson's "Making the Jump: Digital Publishing and Collaboration." Sept. 2011.

"The Importance of Undergraduate Multimedia: An Argument in Seven Acts." Kairos 16.1. Fall 2011. Webtext. Featured voiceover contribution. Production by Justin Hodgson, Scott Nelson, Andrew Rechnitz, Clieve Wiese.

"Star Signatures: A Cultural Studies Analysis of Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh’s Notebook." CR: The New Centennial Review, (10) 1: 49-54. Spring 2010.

"Giving Sam a Second Life: Beckett’s Plays in the Age of Convergent Media." Texas Studies in Literature and Language. (51) 1: 102-117. Spring 2009.

Book Chapters

"Promoting Social Innovation Through Learning Partnerships." With Ben Selznick and Patrice Ludwig. Book Chapter. 21st Century Student-Faculty Experiences: Fostering Sustained Student-Faculty Engagement in Changing College Environments. Edited by Teniell Trolian and Eugene T. Parker III. 2023.

"Faculty Peer Coaching in Transdisciplinary, Experiential, Problem-Focused Learning Contexts." With E. Louson, W. F. Heinrich, E. J. Lewis, P. M. Ludwig, N. Swayne, and T. Titareva. Faculty Peer Coaching in Higher Education: Opportunities, Explorations, and Research from the Field, eds. K. Rainville, D. Title & C. Desrochers. Information Age. 2023. 

"Transforming Emergency into Opportunity." With Diane Wilcox, Emily York, Jonathan Stewart, and Kenneth Barron. Global Perspectives on Educational Innovations for Emergency Situations. Series: Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations.

"Testing Assessments of Integrated Experiential Learning." With William F. Heinrich, P. M. Ludwig, E. J. Lewis, N. Swayne, and E. Louson. Applying Design Thinking to the Measurement of Experiential Learning. Adam Peck & Danielle DeSawal, Eds. IGI Global. 2021. 288-309.

“Playful Affinity: A Case Study of the Digital Writing and Research Lab as a Collaborative Graduate Student Research Network.” With Lauren Nahas. In Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies edited by Laura McGrath for the Computers and Composition Digital Press. Spring 2012.


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