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Dinah J. Ryan

Professor of English

Teaching Area(s)



  • MFA, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • BA, Principia College


Embracing a cross-disciplinary professional practice, Dinah Ryan is a fiction writer, critic of contemporary art and visual culture, and an independent curator. Ryan developed and instituted the creative writing track in the English major and teaches the fiction writing sequence. She also offers courses on modernist, contemporary, and regional literature as well as critical theory. In addition, Ryan directs a study abroad program to Prague and the Czech Republic that focuses on creative writing and studio art. Before joining the faculty, Ryan taught in the MFA program in the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University, in the English and Art Departments at Mary Baldwin College, and at Washington and Lee University, where she was the director of Staniar Gallery. 

Contributions to Field

Ryan has served as a contributing editor for Art Papers magazine since 1992. She has also been a visiting critic at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio, TX, and at SUNY-Fredonia in Fredonia, NY. 


Ryan has been a fiction Fellow several times at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, including a residency in April 2012.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • The Association of Writers and Writing Programs
  • College Art Association

Publications and Presentations

Ryan's criticism and art writing appears in Art PapersSculptureArt Lies, and other journals. In 2011, she co-curated The Nameless Hour: Places of Reverie, Paths of Reflection for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery. She has also been a panelist and speaker for numerous venues.

Dinah Ryan CV