Deborah Scaggs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English

  • Faculty
Literature and Languages
Contact Deborah
David Talbot Hall of Languages 141
Related Department
Literature and Languages
Collinsville, IL

Deborah Scaggs earned her degrees at different institutions, which fed her desire to travel and live elsewhere. Scaggs earned her undergraduate in Illinois (Go ILLINI!!) and post-graduated in Boston. Saint Louis is where she received her Ph.D. and studied her love of literature from the Renaissance.

She grew up in the mid-west in a town called Collinsville, Illinois. It is known for two things: 1. It has the world’s largest ketchup/catsup bottle, and 2. It is where 60-80% of the world’s horseradish is grown. Scaggs now lives in Texas, where she is a Buddhist and practicing vegan. She loves all animals (but is partial to dogs) and absolutely loves teaching here at Texas A&M University at Commerce!

A Conversation with Deborah

What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?

A&M-Commerce is a place where you are not just a student ID number. You are important and have value as a person. With small class sizes, you get an opportunity to know your peers and instructors well.

What draws you to your discipline?

Studying literature is not just about reading and writing. It is about learning to think critically about how texts and ideas are formed within a culture and society and the multiple factors that influence them. Not only does literature respond to what is going on in society, but it also helps to shape what we might envision for change and progress. Students learn to break down challenging texts (which include visually-based texts like film, TV, and art) so that they can reassemble them with a greater understanding of how they work.

What has been your favorite course to teach?

My favorite course to teach has been ENG 311: Shakespeare. I fell in love with Shakespeare in 1989 when I read Romeo and Juliet in high school. Having said that, I love teaching all courses because it gives me the opportunity to share my love of British literature with students.

Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.

I am currently working on a book that examines a number of different genres (poetry, novella, public and private drama) and how the authors present voices of the marginalized that dissent from the dominant discourses of the early modern period. This “discourse of difference” includes both marginal and dominant discourses that together redefined and restructured the deeply rooted cultural patterns of the early modern period and generated new identities that would, in time, become part of the larger system of the early modern English distinctiveness.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., English, with distinction, Saint Louis University, 2010
  • Certificate in Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University, 2010
  • M.A., English, University of Massachusetts at Boston, 2000
  • Baccalaureate in English and Rhetoric, with distinction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor of English, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2021-Present
  • Associate Professional, Texas A&M International University, 2015-2021
  • Assistant Professor, Texas A&M International University, 2010-2015
  • Writing Program Director, Texas A&M International University, 2009-2020
  • Visiting Professor of Composition, Texas A&M International University, 2006-2010

Awards and Honors

  • ACUE certified, 2023

Research Interests

  • Shakespeare
  • Early Modern British Literature
  • Early Modern Drama
  • Composition Pedagogy and Assessment


  • (In progress) The Poetics of Dissention: The Rise of Dissenting Voices and Marginal Identities in Early Modern British Literature.
  • Kaleidoscope: Shaping Language, Shaping Identity. 2nd ed., Kendall Hunt, 2019.
  • Kaleidoscope: Shaping Language, Shaping Identity. Kendall Hunt, 2016.
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