Meet Dr. Carol Dole

Jenna Smith (

Dr. Carol Dole has been teaching at Ursinus since 1988. She specializes in 19th century British fiction, but teaches an array of classes in the English Department. Currently, she is on the “Senior Professorship” half-time retirement route and plans to move to full retirement in 2024. This includes teaching in Spring of 2023 but not next Fall. 

Dole is also the co-founder of the Ursinus’ Film Studies program, which she has coordinated for many years prior to Jennifer Fleeger “so ably” taking the reins. She has also previously been the chair of the English department for almost 14 years, in which role she has been able to aid in the hiring process of her “impressive colleagues who have since done such a wonderful job moving the department into the future.” Dole cares most about her students and the progress they make throughout their time at Ursinus. “As they mature and then go out into the world, I feel most proud when occasionally they tell me that I contributed in some way to their success.”

Dole’s favorite part of being a professor is talking and connecting with students in a one-on-one way. The COVID-19 pandemic made this hard, especially with remote learning on Zoom, so she is excited to be back in a real classroom where group discussion can really flourish. As a professor she also loves being able to read lots of wonderful novels and watch interesting films for the classes she teaches. One of her favorite classes that she has taught is Austen and the Brontes because of the love students (and Dole herself) have for those authors. She also loves teaching Russian Fiction, because she can reread Tolstoy and other amazing writers. Russian Fiction, which she is currently teaching this semester and of which I have the pleasure of being a part, also allows students to learn more about the history and culture of an area most don’t know much about. Especially with the Russia-Ukraine conflict this semester, this class has been particularly interesting for her to teach at this time: “I have been especially fortunate to be teaching it this semester as we are all trying to figure out what the Russian leadership is thinking.” 

In the past she has taught courses such as Engl290W, the great English gateway course that all majors are familiar with, as well as some film classes, intro and history of English, old World Lit courses in African and Japanese lit, and various senior seminars. During her time here, she has been able to teach in different areas across the department, outside her formal “specialty” of 19th British fiction, because of Ursinus’ size: “like almost all teachers at small colleges, I have ended up teaching all sorts of things.” She also enjoys teaching courses related to adaptation, which is “the usual subject of my own scholarship – whether about adapting books to movies, or adapting classic literary texts into new versions.”

After her impressive and inspiring time at Ursinus, Dole plans to retire in 2024. She aims to spend time with family and resume traveling once the pandemic has subsided. She loves to travel and has, pre-pandemic, taken “two extraordinary bucket-list trips; one to Australia and New Zealand and one to the Baltics region.” 

Ursinus wishes her good luck with her amazing journey, and thanks her for all that she has done for the institution and students!