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English Department

Michael Flynn

Permanent Military Professor

Director: UK International Scholarship Program


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature; 2011-2015; the University of Texas at Austin
  • Certificate in International Relations; 2005-2006; Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies
  • Certificate for Graduate Studies in Mandarin, Chinese History, Economics; 2004-2005; Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • Master of Arts in English Language and Literature; 1995; University of Maryland, College Park
  • Bachelor of Science, English Literature Major, French Minor, Honors and Distinction; 1991-1995; United States Naval Academy


  • 1995-Present.  Officer, United States Navy.
  • 2015-Present; Permanent Military Professor, Associate Professor, English Department, United States Naval Academy
  • 2011-2015; PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin, Program in Comparative Literature
  • 2009-2011; NATO High Readiness Force Air Operations Officer, Taranto, Italy
  • 2008-2009; Counter-IED Electronic Warfare Officer, 304th Civil Affairs Brigade, Baghdad, Iraq
  • 2006-2008; Department Head, Training Officer, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One, Whidbey Island, Washington
  • 2003; Staff Reconnaissance Officer, CTF-67, Naples, Italy
  • 1999-2003; EP-3 Aircraft Mission Commander, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two, Rota, Spain
  • 1993; Summer Internship at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency


Courses taught:

  • HE111 Fall 2016 Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature I (3 sections)
  • HE111 Fall 2017 Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature I (2 sections)
  • HE112 Spring 2016 Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (2 section)
  • HE112 Spring 2017 Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (1 section)
  • HE250 Spring 2016 Literature of the Sea (1 section)
  • HE250 Spring 2017 Literature of the Sea (1 section)
  • HE353 Fall 2017 Continental Literature (1 section)
  • HE344 Summer 2017 Professional Writing (1 section)
  • HH482A Fall 2016  JR Advanced Topics in History (1 section) – a one-credit seminar for the Junior United Kingdom and International Scholarship Program (JUKISP)
  • HH482A Fall 2017 JR Advanced Topics in History (1 section) - a one-credit seminar for the Junior United Kingdom and International Scholarship Program (JUKISP)
  • HH482B Spring 2016 JR Advanced Topics in History (1 section) - a one-credit seminar for the Junior United Kingdom and International Scholarship Program (JUKISP)
  • HH482B Spring 2017 SR Advanced Topics in History (1 section) - a one-credit seminar for the Senior United Kingdom and International Scholarship Program (SUKISP)
  • FC282E Spring 2017 China’s Strategic Culture – Ancient to Contemporary – a one-credit course leading connected to an LREC to China, first block summer 2017.
  • HE496 Spring 2017 Representations in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Literature (1 section, 1 student).  Independent study of trauma theory in literature

Course and Laboratory Development:

  • HE496 Independent Study - PTSD and literature (Spring 2017).  Directed a student’s research into contemporary trauma theory and its application to selected fiction.
  • FC282E China’s Strategic Culture (Spring 2017).  Designed and taught a one-credit course on Chinese literature, culture, history, economics and politics.  Arranged for several guests speakers to talk to the class of six students.  Students begin a research project while in the class and finish it while on the China LREC over the summer, their time in China used in part to gather evidence for their research paper.
  • Coming Home Dialogues (24-25 AUG 2017; 30-31 MAR 2017). NEH funded program to train educators on uses of the Humanities to raise public awareness to the problem of war trauma, the citizen/soldier divide, and propose possible socio-cultural solutions.  Attended 2016 seminar as a trainee; will conduct 2017 two-day seminar at USNA to help train other educators on uses of literature to help veterans socially reintegrate.
  • HH482A JR Advanced Topics in History (Fall-Spring 2017).  Restructured the selection process for third-class midshipmen who apply for the JUKISP, imposing a written component, nomination system and in-depth faculty review (~80 students).  Solicited additional faculty facilitators for the program (currently 11, 3 of whom are new recruits).  In the fall of 2016 I served as a facilitator for a small group; each small group designs its own curriculum, drawing from great works of Western intellectual history.
  • HH482A SR Advanced Topics in History (Spring 2017).  Restructured the selection process and criteria for the second-class midshipman who apply (about 50 applied for a total of 24 positions): criteria changed to weigh recommendations, leadership and research plans more heavily than OOM.  Oversee and lead the SUKISP course, which meets in large groups to guest speakers, and small groups (4 groups of six students and 2 faculty) to discuss current events, politics, economics and personal development narratives.
  • Movement orders associated with course material.  Arranged two movement orders to DC theaters to attend performances of works that we studied in class (and designed the syllabus around the DC performance schedule): Romeo and Juliet in the fall of 2016; The Select (The Sun Also Rises) in spring of 2017.  I coordinated with 4-5 others professors in the departments, and approximately sixty midshipmen went on each movement order.

 Scholarship and Scholarly Activity


  • “Goodbye to a River of Tears.” Southwestern American Literature 39.2 (Spring 2014): 9-24.

Book Reviews:

  • Gabriela Polit-Dueñas, Narrating Narcos. Stories from Culiacán and Medellín. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. Ethnic and Third World Literatures (E3W) Review of Books (Spring 2015): 14-15.


  • “The Feminist Movement’s Contribution to the Awareness of PTSD.” International Society for Military Ethics Conference, Arlington, VA, February 2017.
  • “Forced Migration in Evelio Rosero’s Los Ejercitos.” Latin American Studies Association (LASA) 2016 Conference, New York, 27-30 May
  • “Modernism in Tómas González' La luz difícil.” Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Conference, Austin, October 2013.
  • “Postmemory and PTSD in Juan Gabriel Vásquez' El ruido de las cosas al caer.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference, Toronto, April 2013.
  • “Teaching Trauma Literature at the United States Naval Academy.” Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Conference, Austin, October 2012.
  • “Sophocles Heals the Iraq Veteran.”  American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference, Providence, March 2012.
  • “Jonathan Shay on Identity Crisis.” Graduate Student Conference in Comparative Literature, Austin, October 2011.


  • SUKISP Director (Spring 2017). 
  • Assistant Director (Fall 2017). 

Program and one-credit course to mentor top-of-the-class midshipmen and facilitate their applications to the nation’s most prestigious graduate scholarships, which include the Rhodes, Marshall, Schwarzman (China), and the Gates (Cambridge), as well as three USNA internal scholarships to various UK universities.  Students (~24) meet in twice-weekly seminars, large and small groups, to hear guest speakers and engage in discussions on issues of national interest. 

In the fall the SUKISP mentors evaluate each student’s chances of winning a scholarship, conducts mock interviews for the most promising, and narrow the field to 10-12 students who can complete for a USNA internal scholarship; the winners are chosen by an outside board that I coordinate.  Significant changes made to the program administration include:

  1. Redesigning application process for both the SUKISP and the JUKISP (~80 students) to include different selection criteria (not merely OOM), essays, interviews and faculty recommendations.
  2. Recruitment of new faculty mentors for JUKISP (~10 total now)
  3. Syllabus and schedule redesign for SUKISP, include more engagement with DC agencies via movement orders and guest speakers

Successful scholarship bids under my tenure: Rhodes (1); Schwarzman (2); Gates (2); Fulbright (3 reached the final interview – results still out); Mitchell (1, but student declined); Rotary Club (1).

  • JUKISP (Fall 2015-Fall 2016).  HH482A JR and HH482B JR are the course numbers for the Junior United Kingdom and International Scholarship Program (JUKISP).  It is a program designed to meet once per week with top students in terms of both order of merit (OOM) and scholarship, who have strong potential for graduate study upon graduation from USNA.  The course takes place during the spring semester of 3/C year, involved reading assignments over the summer, and finishes fall semester 2/C year.  The curriculum is designed to introduce the students to texts and discourses in fields such as philosophy, history, literature, and history of science that the students might not be exposed to in their standard curriculum.  The program is one of the feeders to the Senior UKISP, which is the institution’s selection process to endorse midshipmen for international graduate study scholarships.  I volunteered for JUKISP as a faculty mentor staring in the fall of 2015, joining mid-way through the curriculum, and continued through the fall of 2016.
  • Proposal to Faculty Senate on Updating USNA Plagiarism Procedures (FEB 2017).  Submitted and presented a paper to the USNA Faculty Senate suggesting a number of COAs to improve the way that the USNA administration handles charges of student plagiarism and academic dishonesty.  In sum, I suggest that we need to augment the current system, which handles plagiarism administratively under the Honor Concept.  Proposal is under consideration at appropriate committee.
  •  Colombia Language Proficiency, Regional Expertise, Cultural Awareness (LREC) (2016 and 2017 Spring Break).  An LREC is a faculty-led cultural exchange program.  During the spring break of academic years 2016 and 2017, I took several (3 in 2016, 2 in 2017) USNA midshipmen to the Colombian Naval Academy in Cartagena, Colombia for a one-week exchange.  They experience life as a Colombian midshipman would, are immersed in a language environment that will require them to speak Spanish all the time, and, during their transit time, get some exposure to the cultural and heritage sites in Colombia’s capital of Bogota as well as Cartagena and the surrounding areas.
  • China LREC (Summer 2017).  Will lead six midshipmen on a three-week trip to China to visit cultural, historical and political institutions.  One-credit class taught in conjunction with LREC (FC282E).
  • Chinese Culture Club Officer Representative (Spring 2016-Present). Coordinated and attended three movement orders (DC and NYC) for Chinese cultural events.
  •  Departmental Committee Participation (ACYEAR 2017): Fourth-Class Curriculum Committee; Pay, Promotion and Retention Committee; IT Committee.
  • Conduct Remediation (Summer 2016). Designed and taught a conduct remediation course for one student using various literary works that represented the ill effects of alcohol abuse.
  • Department Faculty Honor Liaison (SEP 2015–Present).  I took this on as a collateral duty after going through the process of submitting one of my students to the Honor committee for having plagiarized a paper.  I gave a departmental brief on the process, to which I brought the midshipman faculty liaison, who talked at length with the faculty about their questions and concerns with the program.
  •  Pearson Writer (Fall 2015).  Frustrated with the quality of the online writing tools to which the midshipmen had access through their plebe-Book-Issue purchase of The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers, I worked with the faculty liaison at Pearson publishing to find a product that was a better match to student needs at USNA.  The representative suggested that I try out the Pearson Writer software, which is a combination of an advanced grammar checker and an automated bibliography generator.  I led a semester-long process that involved obtaining temporary software codes for my students, working with them as they wrote with the software, conducting surveys to see whether they thought it helpful, comparing the writing quality before and after using Pearson writer, and presenting the evidence to the department and the committee that votes on which texts and services to adopt for plebe issue.  The end result was the vote to adopt this new software in place of the old one that was provided with the book purchase; all future plebe classes will have access to a powerful online tool for checking and improving their writing.
  •  Volunteer Language Instruction (Fall 2015-Spring 2016).  I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Italian and some French.  I have filled in a few times for a colleague's Mandarin course in the Languages and Cultures Department when there was a schedule conflict, and I would be happy to fill in on a case-by-case basis in the future, should the need arise.
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