Patricia E O'Connor


Emeritus Associate Professor


Department of English
General profile



Patricia O'Connor, a sociolinguist, is an Associate Professor of English. Her research found in Speaking of Crime: Narratives of Prisoners (2000) establishes her as a foundational figure in the field of narrative criminology. Her current research focuses on narratives of addiction. She also researches a grammar of agency; functions of story; Appalachian narratives; teaching writing; prison teaching; literacy struggles.

In 2005 Prof. O'Connor received the Mitsubishi Unsung Hero Award for her community service work in addiction. In 2004 Professor O'connor co-edited a special volume on outreach into prisons: Reflections--Prison Literacies, Narratives and Community Connections.

O'Connor earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University, English from Georgetown University and B.A. in Secondary Education with specializations in teaching English and French from Marshall University.

O'Connor publications include:
Speaking of Crime (2000), Literacy Behind Prison Walls (1994) (with Karl O. Haigler, Caroline W. Harlow, and Anne Campbell); and articles on narrative strategies and discourses of violence in a variety of journals including: The Journal of African American Men; Discourse & Society; Text; Pragmatics; Pre/Text.

O'Connor is a founding member of the national service-learning organization--Educators for Community Engagement,and has served as a senior research fellow in the GU Center for Social Justice, and former Coordinator of the GU Writing Program. She also has published articles on service learning in NSEE Quarterly, Public Outreach, and in Watters and Ford Writing for Change.

O'Connor's work on associative thinking and teaching with new technologies appears in the online New Media publication:

Prof. O'Connor was founding faculty in 2005 at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service in Qatar and has taught there in 4 other years.


  • Ph.D. () Georgetown University, Linguistics
  • M.A. () Georgetown University,
  • B.A. () Marshall University,