Select a View:  

Karen J. Head

Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Executive Director of the Naugle Communication Center

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Email Address:
Office Location:
Skiles 335
Office Hours:
by appointment


Karen Head (PhD University of Nebraska) is Executive Director of the Communication Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as the Associate Chair and Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Since 2006, she has been a Visiting Scholar at Technische Universität-Dortmund, Germany, where she serves as the primary consultant for their academic center. Her research areas focus on writing and communication theory and pedagogical practice, especially in the following areas: higher education rhetoric, sustainable and innovative pedagogy and space design implementation, development of writing centers, writing program administration, communication ecologies, technical communication, business communication, multidisciplinary communication, and creative writing.

In 2012-13, she was part of the GT team awarded a Gates Foundation Grant to develop one of the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) focused on college writing, and she has published several articles about the experience. Her book Disrupt This!: MOOCs and the Promises of Technology (University Press of New England, 2017) describes her experience teaching a MOOC and the attendant pressure on professors, especially those in the humanities, to embrace new technologies in the STEM era.

She has also published four books of poetry (Sassing, My Paris YearShadow Boxes, and On Occasion: Four Poets, One Year), co-edited the poetry anthology, Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Poetry, and has exhibited several acclaimed digital poetry projects. She was the 2010 winner of the Oxford International Women’s Festival Poetry Prize.

An award winning teacher, Head’s courses center on analyzing, critiquing, evaluating, and creating a variety of texts that demonstrate an understanding of audience and adaptation of multimodal and multiliteracy rhetorical strategies and tools. In 2013, she won Georgia Tech's CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Award, and has won the Class of 1934 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award several times.

She also serves as the editor of Southern Discourse in the Center: A Journal of Multiliteracy and Innovation. In summer 2016, she became the editor of the international poetry journal, Atlanta Review.


  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska
  • M.A., University of Tennessee
  • B.A., Oglethorpe University
  • A.A., Dekalb College
Awards and
  • 2019 Georgia Institute of Technology, Class of 1934 Outstanding Service Award
  • 2019 Higher Education Leadership Development Program (HERS Institute)
  • Waffle House Poet Laureate
  • 2017 Oglethorpe University Talmage Award (Distinguished Alumni Award)
  • 2016 Dekalb College/Perimeter College at Georgia State Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2016 Women Out Front “Class of 2016” Service Award
  • 2015 & 2019 GT Office of Diversity: Faces of Inclusive Excellence
  • 2013 GT Women’s Leadership Conference “Woman of Distinction Faculty Award”
  • 2013 CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2010 Oxford International Women’s Festival Poetry Prize
  • 2009 All Nations Press Editor’s Choice of Excellence in Poetry
  • Class of 1934 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award (multi-year winner)
Areas of
  • Creativity
  • Educational Technology
  • Higher Education
  • Innovation
  • MOOC
  • Multiliteracy
  • Poetry
  • Representations Of Self
  • Rhetoric
  • The Communication Center
  • Tutoring
  • Writing


Research Fields:
  • Communication
  • Digital Media
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Europe
  • United States
  • United States - Georgia
  • United States - Southeast
  • Gender
  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Creativity in Context
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Digital Communication
  • Education
  • Education Policy
  • Higher Education: Teaching and Learning
  • Innovation
  • Interdisciplinary Learning and Partnering
  • International Communication
  • Language and Popular Culture
  • Literature
  • Media
  • Performance
  • Poetry
  • Science and Technology
  • Sustainability


  • LCC-3206: Communication & Culture
  • LCC-3222: Regionalism-Amer Lit
  • LCC-3226: Major Authors
  • LCC-3234: Creative Writing
  • LCC-3403: Tech Communication
  • LCC-3823: Special Topics Lit/Cult
  • LCC-3843: Spec Topic-Communication
  • LCC-4406: Profession Communication
  • LMC-3204: Poetry and Poetics
  • LMC-3222: Regionalism American Lit
  • LMC-3226: Major Authors
  • LMC-3234: Creative Writing
  • LMC-3823: Special Topics Lit/Cult
  • LMC-3843: Spec Topic-Communication
  • LMC-4811: Special Topics

Recent Publications