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Joan DelFattore


Joan DelFattore holds a Ph.D. in English and an M.S. in clinical psychology from Penn State University. She’s professor emerita of English and legal studies at the University of Delaware, where she taught for more than thirty years. Her work on freedom of expression, including three books with Yale University Press and dozens of articles, has won awards from the American Library Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the Spencer Foundation, among others. In addition to giving talks all over the country, she’s appeared on dozens of talk shows, notably 20/20, Radio Times, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show.

DelFattore’s current research project is a book about how and why people form beliefs and how they react when those beliefs are challenged; she’ll also begin teaching a UD course on that topic in 2018.

In 2014, she established a Writing as Healing program at the Christiana Care Health System in Delaware, teaching research-based techniques for using writing to reduce stress and improve the quality of life. The program has served more than 600 patients, caregivers, and staff, and sessions for physicians began in 2017.