Dr. Onderdonk is a Professor of University Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, teaching writing, American Literature, and social identity in General Education and the Honors program. He has served as Capstone Director since 2012. He has been deeply involved in general education administration and reform since coming to SEU in 2005.

His has published research on issues of gender, identity, and authorship in American Literary Modernism, and he frequently team-teaches and pilots new courses, such as experimental sections of Capstone, an Honors class with Dr. Jeannetta Williams: "Why the Batman IS the Joker: Literary and Psychological Perspectives on the Self and Other," and an upcoming Freshman Seminar on Alternative cultures. He has played an active role in the current General Education revision effort, serving on committees developing new curricula, including currently, the Culminating Experience committee, which he co-chairs. He has also been active in faculty governance, serving on numerous other university and school committees, including the Faculty Senate since 2010.


He received his Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 after working more than a decade in food service. He proudly displays in his office his Employee of the Month portrait from when he worked as a cook at the Milwaukee hotel where he met his wife, Anne, then a no-nonsense, unsmiling bus-person.  Before that he was a music major at Northwestern, where he played string bass in the NU Orchestra and Chicago Civic Symphony until dropping out for lack of funds.  

Ph. D., English, University of Texas at Austin, August, 2005.

M.A., English, University of Texas at Austin, December, 1999.

B.A., English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, summa cum laude, 1997.

Orchestral Performance, Northwestern University, 1979-81.

Achievement & Involvement

Honors and Awards

Winner, St. Edward’s Distinguished Teaching Award, St. Edward’s University, 2014. ($1000)

Capstone Instructor of the Year, St. Edward’s University, 2008-09 ($200)

Finalist, St. Edward’s Distinguished Teaching Award, St. Edward’s University, 2010

University Continuing Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 2004-05. ($22,000)

Publications & Articles



“Bitched: Feminization, Identity and the “Hemingwayesque” in The Sun Also Rises,” Twentieth Century Literature 52.1 (2006): 61-91.

“Tarantino’s Deadly Homosocial: Masculinity and Power in Pulp Fiction. New Hollywood Violence. Ed. Stephen Schneider. Inside Popular Cinema Series. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2004. 286-303.

“The Marble Mother: Hawthorne’s Iconographies of the Feminine.” Studies in American Fiction 31.1 (2003): 73-100.

Short Articles

Book Review: “Visible Man: Arnold Rampersad’s Biography Reveals Ralph Ellison in All His Contradictory Splendor.” Austin American Statesman 29 April 2007: J6.

“Guest Editor’s Introduction, Teaching the American Literature Survey Course: A Heath Anthology Newsletter Colloquy.” The Heath Anthology Newsletter 28, (Spring 2005): 1-2.

Encyclopedia entries: “Eminem,” and “Elvis Presley.” Men & Masculinities: A Social, Cultural, and Historical Encyclopedia, Ed. Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio Press, 2004. Ms. 7 pages.


National Meetings

“Vertical Integration Matrices: Mapping LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes in the St. Edward’s University Core Curriculum.” American Association of Colleges and Universities Conference: “General Education and Assessment: Disruptions, Innovations, and Opportunities,” Portland, OR, Feb. 28, 2014.

“Diversity, Apathy, Pushback: New Strategies for Discussing Diversity in Liberal Education,” with Dr. Catherine Bacon. 2013 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, Indianapolis, IN, Sept. 19, 2013.

“Vertical Integration Matrices: Mapping General Education Learning outcomes at St. Edward’s University,” with Drs. Mity Myrh and David Blair. 2012 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, Portland, OR, Oct. 7, 2012.


“LGBTQ-GE: Queering General Education at St. Edward’s: Rationales, Approaches, Challenges,” with Dr. Alex Barron. 2011 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, Miami, FL, Oct. 7, 2011.

“Instructor Persona, Social Identities, and Democratic Classrooms,” with Dr. Jennifer Dornan. 2010 Association of American Colleges and Universities, “Diversity, Learning, and Pathways to Inclusive Excellence” Conference, Houston, TX, Oct. 22, 2010.


Creating Undergraduate Research Journals to Promote Liberal Learning,” with Drs. Mity Myhr and Laura Hernandez Ehrisman. 2009 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, St. Louis, MO, Oct. 2, 2009.

“Engaging Diversity in a General Education Learning Community,” with Dr. Cory Lock. Association of American Colleges and Universities Network for Academic Renewal Conference, Austin, Texas, April 11, 2008.

“Inclusive Approaches to Teaching Diversity and Difference in the General Education Curriculum” with Drs. Cory Lock and Alex Barron, 2008 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, Asheville, NC, Sept. 25, 2008.

“The College Republican in the Corner: Exploring Politics and Values Without Partisanship in the College Classroom.” 2007 Association for Liberal and General Studies National Conference, Portland, ME, October 20, 2007.

“One Man Alone: Fight Clubs, Collectivism and ‘Hemingwayesque’ Masculinity in To Have and Have Not,”Ernest Hemingway International Conference, Key West, FL, June, 2004.

"'Behold the Man': Constructing Modernism's Masculine Truth," 2003 National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association COnference, New Orleans, LA, April 2003.

“The Great Nick: Narrating Masculine Identity in The Great Gatsby,” Society for the Study of Narrative Literature Conference 2003, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, March 2003.

“‘To Have or Have Not’: Butching Up Modernist Author-ity in the 1930s,” Modernist Studies Association 3, Rice University, Houston, TX, October 2001.

“Tarantino’s Deadly Homosocial: Masculinity and Power in Pulp Fiction,” Violence, Cinema, and American Culture, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, April, 2001.

“Group Web Projects in the Computer-Assisted Classroom,” Computer Writing & Research Lab Spring Colloquium,Austin, TX, April, 2001.

“American Homosocial: Masculinity, Violence, and Compulsory Heterosexuality in Fight Club and Boys Don't Cry." Student Gender Studies Conference, Austin, TX, February 2001.

On-Campus Presentations

2014 SEU Teaching Symposium: “Student Research in the Disciplines: Building Expectations/Creating Models,” with Drs. Mary Brantl, Michael Kart, Delia Kothman Paskos, Carline Morris, August 21, 2014.

2014 CTE Conversations On Teaching Series: “Where is the Postmodern in Data-driven Education? Knowledge, ‘Theory,’ and the Classroom,” with Dr. Kris Sloan. March 6, 2014.

2013 SEU Teaching Symposium: “New Strategies for Discussing Diversity: Responding to Apathy, Pushback and the Global Challenge,” with Drs. Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman, Jennifer Mata, Amy Nathan Wright, August 22, 2013.

2013 CULF Faculty Workshop: “NCORE Diversity Pedagogy Workshop,” with Dr. Amy Nathan Wright. February 21, 2013.

2012 SEU Teaching Sumposium: “Mapping the General Education Curriculum: University Learning Outcomes and You,” with Drs. Teri Varner, Mity Myrh, Christie Sample-Wilson, Kelly Mendiola, August 23, 2012.

2012 SEU Teaching Symposium: “Gender and Teaching: Experiences, Questions and Strategies,” with Drs. Kris Sloan, Renee Pinchero, Michelle Robertson, and Kelly Coblenz-Bautch, August 23, 2012.

2011 SEU Teaching Showcase Opening Plenary Session, Faculty Panel Discussion: Why Do We Have College? Current Debates About College and What They Mean for Our Teaching, August 25, 2011.

2010 SEU Teaching Showcase: “Experimenting With the Global Classroom,” with Drs. Pauline Albert And Kelley Coblentz-Bautch, August 20, 2010.

2010 SEU Teaching Showcase: “SOURCE: Encouraging Undergraduate Research,” Lunch Roundtablewith Drs. Lisa Goering and Mity Myhr, August 20, 2010.

2009 SEU Teaching Showcase: Classroom Discussions: “Master, Devil’s Advocate, or Guide?: Instructor Authority and the Interactive Classroom,” with Dr. Jennifer Dornan, August 21, 2009.

2008 Teaching Showcase “General Education & the Disciplines: Integrating Learning across the St. Ed’s Curriculum,” with Dr. Cory Lock, August 21, 2008.

2008 CTE Conversations on Teaching Series: "Teaching Multiculturally," with Dr. Cory Lock, April 16, 2008. 

Conferences Attended

American Association of Colleges & Universities: “Diversity, Learning, and Student Success,” March 26, 2015 - March 28, 2015

National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, New York, NY, May 29-June 2, 2012.

“Expanding the Circle: Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education for LGBTQ Students and Studies,” San Francisco, CA, March 3-6, 2011.

“Expanding the Circle: Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education for LGBTQ Students and Studies,” San Francisco, CA, February 25-28, 2010.