English and Creative Writing

Ames Hawkins

Assoc Provost Fac Research Dev

Associate Professor

33 E Congress, Rm 506
Phone: (312) 369-8149
Email: ahawkins@colum.edu


Ames Hawkins is a transgenre writer, educator, and art activist. An Associate Professor and Interim Associate Chair in the Department of English at Columbia College Chicago, she teaches courses in the Writing and Rhetoric, and Cultural Studies, and Literature Programs. Ames earned a PhD in English Studies (Composition and Rhetoric) at Wayne State University, a Master’s in Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in American Culture at The University of Michigan.


As a multimodal composer who uses writing and art to explore the interstices of alphabetic text, image, and sound, Ames theorizes the power and pleasure of queer(ing) form. Ames’s recent work makes contributions to the larger conversations regarding multimodal composing, art activism, collaboration, and queer writing literary nonfiction. Her creative-critical scholarship appears across a range of academic and literary publications—both print and online—such as, Computers and Composition Online, The Feminist Wire, Slag Glass City, Polari, and Water~Stone Review. She has a manifesto in the edited anthology, RAW: (Reading and Writing) New Media, and a co-authored piece in the collection, Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for GLBT Teens. Ames served as contributor, curator, and co-editor of the Lambda Literary Foundations 25th Anniversary eBook Collection, 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary Authors and Those They Inspired.


Ames is currently working on These Are Love Letters: e, l, o, r, s, t, v, a transgenre book-length writing project and imagined art installation that uses a finite set of textual artifacts, (the twenty love letters written by her father to her mother over a six-week period), as a framework for a complex visual and textual exploration of the infinite implications regarding the cultural, theoretical and literary work of the love letter. She’s also exploring the scholarly and pedagogical affordances of soundwriting, podcasting, and digital spoken dialogue.


In 2006, Ames became the first Faculty Fellow for Critical Encounters, the nonhierarchical, volunteer, civic engagement art and activism initiative for the college, and has since been active in collaborative art activist ventures such as The Cradle Project and One Million Bones. Ames also loves to get the written word off the page and onto the stage and has engaged in drag/queer/story performance in Chicago with 2nd Story, Gender Fusions, Northern Lights, and The Chicago Kings. She was a 2012 fellow at the In(ter)ventions residency at The Banff Centre, a  Lambda Literary Retreat Writer’s Fellow, and a 2007 Breadloaf Contributor. 


Ames practices transfeminist pedagogy and has co-taught a number of interdisciplinary courses with faculty in the Departments of Art+Design, English, Humanities, History + Social Sciences, Journalism, and Science and Math. Recent courses include “Writing and Rhetoric II Honors,” “Reviewing the Arts,” “Death and Desire in Italy,” “Composition Theory and Praxis”, and “Queer Writings.” She’s taught a number of iterations of “Art and Activism Community Project,” involving collaboration with faculty as well as art activist organizations such as The Cradle Project, One Million Bones, the Chicago Mosaic School, the Center on Halsted, and the Center for Digital Storytelling. Ames also teaches in the Cultural Studies core curriculum, including “Introduction to Cultural Studies, and “Cultural Theories,” as well as seminars such as “Rhetorics of Apocalypse,” and “Dis-Ease in American Culture.”


What else? Ames is a human with sites of pleasure that include walking, microbrewed beer/craft cocktail drinking, road-tripping, and thoughtful conversation.   

Teaching Interests

Writing and Rhetoric--First-year and advanced, Art Activism, Queer/Trans Studies, Cultural Studies Core Courses

Research Interests

Creative-Critical Scholarship, Multimodal Composing, Art Activism, Collaboration, Audio Texts/Soundwriting, Letter Writing/Epistolary Forms, Transgenre Writing/Queer Writing/Transpoetics, Cultural Rhetorics


B.A., American Culture University of Michigan 1990
M.A., Popular Culture Bowling Green State University 1992
Ph.D., English Wayne State University 2001

Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

Looking for an event near you?

If you can’t make it to campus, don’t worry! We have a full schedule of events all across the U.S. and around the world.