Professor Profile: Jason Denman


Whitney Morris, Events Reporter

Jason Denman is an English professor, here at Utica College, who teaches a range of courses in composition and literature, particularly British literature to 1800. He has held short-term fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library; his articles on seventeenth-century English drama and poetry have appeared in Philological Quarterly, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research, The Explicator, and Notes & Queries.

Professor Denman received his education at Diablo Valley College, University of California, Davis (BA), and the University of California, Irvine (MA and Ph.D.). When he was younger, he had a passion for music.

“I sang bass in the Hamilton College Oratorio Society for five years or so,” Denman said. “My favorite experience was doing the Brahms requiem in a 150+ person chorus, with a full orchestra. Awesome!” said Professor Denman.

He wanted to be a musician who played the classical trumpet and piano. Although he wasn’t too bad at it, Denman came to realize that he also wasn’t talented enough for it, either.

“Teaching is more fun anyway,” said Professor Denman.

What inspired Denman to pursue teaching were his own teachers. Growing up, his 3rd, 5th, 11th, 12th and college English teachers were all very passionate about language and literature and this really inspired Denman to pursue a lifelong career in the field.

When Denman was in high school and college, he worked at a sandwich shop to pay the bills. Before starting to work at UC, Denman was a graduate student. He started working at UC right after graduate school and has been working here for 11 years.

Among many other things, on his free time, Denman likes to cook, home-brew, do yard work, swim, do yoga, and occasionally.

Denman grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and also lived in Irvine, California and South Utica before settling down in Deerfield, N.Y. He decided to stay in Deerfield because his job suits him. He has been married since he was 20 and has two children; Henry, 2 and Katherine, 4.

“I like teaching unpretentious, first-generation college students, a key demographic at our school,” Denman said.

Denman has been passionate about teaching since a young age and this makes him well versed in the field.

“I believe that the key to teaching is rapport with your students and a lack of shame,” Denman said. `“A lack of shame is key. You gotta be willing to embarrass yourself.”