Dr. Natalie K. Eschenbaum (PhD 2006, Emory University) is Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (SIAS). Before joining the UW Tacoma community, Natalie was Division Chair of Arts and Humanities at St. Catherine University, Chair and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (UWL), and Freshman and Sophomore Programs Coordinator and Academic Adviser at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on sensation studies and affect theory (specifically the affect of disgust) in early modern English literature. She publishes on Shakespeare and seventeenth-century poets, including Robert Herrick, and is co-editor (with Barbara Correll) of Disgust in Early Modern English Literature (Routledge, 2016).
Natalie's administrative background is especially robust in strategic visioning, personnel management, faculty development, community outreach, and data-driven curriculum design and management. Her teaching and administrative philosophies are student-centered and emphasize interdisciplinarity, social justice, and global perspective. At UWL, she spearheaded the development of an English for Medical Professions BS degree, a unique multidisciplinary program that includes courses in Biology, English, and the Health Humanities. In 2019, she oversaw a community reading program, La Crosse Reads, collaborating with Sia Siab, Inc., and a number of other local partners. Natalie also served as Director of UWL’s Jail Literacy Program and developed an Arts and Culture Mini Course program at Shakopee Women’s Prison in Minnesota. She has taught Shakespeare courses in London multiple times and served as Interim Director of UWL’s China 2+2 Program, a partnership with three universities in China. She is a champion of shared governance and twice chaired UWL’s Faculty Senate. In 2021, Natalie was elected President of the Association of Departments of English (ADE), a national group that is part of the Modern Language Association (MLA) and offers leadership development for department chairs.
Natalie is thrilled to help advance UW Tacoma’s essential mission and believes that SIAS’s forward-thinking design will be the model of liberal arts learning in the next few decades. She believes the many great needs of our time can best be addressed by working collaboratively across disciplinary lines, and together with Tacoma’s community organizations, non-profits and business.