Carmen Acevedo Butcher


Carmen's translation of the spiritual classic Practice of the Presence released August 2022 from Broadleaf Books:

Carmen Acevedo Butcher (she / her) has a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia, Phi Beta Kappa. She has been fortunate her entire life to have been in class with brilliant teachers who collaborate with students. John Algeo, Margie Carroll, Wilson Hall, Paulina E. Buhl Noble, Frank Warnke, and Dot Whitfield were models for kindness, research, writing, listening, and teaching.

Carmen teaches courses in first-year composition and research, introduction to public speaking, and advanced public speaking. She has also taught advanced composition, advanced grammar, professional communication, history of the English language, poetry, creative nonfiction, publishing and editing, and British literature. She has taught both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. With colleague John Levine she co-designed and currently co-teaches public speaking in Berkeley Changemaker

She received the Carnegie Foundation / CASE Georgia Professor of the Year, the UGA Graduate Teaching and Graduate Scholar Awards, and the President's Teaching and Scholarship Award at Shorter College. She has taught at universities on the east coast, and she was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Sogang University in Seoul for a year. She has a 120-hour TESOL certificate from Kennesaw State University. Carmen also studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of London (UCL) and as a Rotary Graduate Scholar at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.

In addition to teaching at Berkeley, she has published with John Algeo a history of the English language textbook Origins and Development of the English Language. In 2018 Shambhala Publications added her translation of the fourteenth-century masterpiece of mysticism, The Cloud of Unknowing (2009), to their new Shambhala Pocket Library series. The Cloud is also an Audible Audiobook as read by James Patrick Cronin. She has written and lectured widely on the topics of linguistics, medieval literature, and women mystics and has translated other classics, including Ælfric’s tenth-century sermons, Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader, Man of Blessing: A Life of Benedict, and A Little Daily Wisdom, among others.

Carmen and her students were interviewed by BBC World Service journalist Robin Lustig for "Dialects and Evolution," on episode 2 of 4 of the series "The Future of English" on The Compass, with an audience of millions. Listen in at 22:30. Also, as part of a Lecturer Teaching Fellowship (LTF), Carmen collaborated with students to create teaching websites on Weebly and on Tumblr. You are invited to explore those at Engaging Gen Z and Creative Space and to visit her at her HomePage for Carmen ButcherBroadleaf BooksShambhala Author Page, and Amazon Author Page.

Publications & Presentations: 


  • Practice of the Presence (Broadleaf Books, 2022)
  • The Cloud of Unknowing (Shambhala Pocket Library, 2018)
  • The Cloud of Unknowing With the Book of Privy Counsel: A New Translation (Shambhala Publications / Random House 2009; Narrator James Patrick Cronin, released as audiobook, 2014)
  • The Cloud of Unknowing With the Book of Privy Counsel: A New Translation (Shambhala Publications, 1st edition, 2009)
  • Origins and Development of the English Language, 7th edition, co-author John Algeo (Cengage Learning / Wadsworth 2013)
  • Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language, 7th edition, co-author John Algeo; Answer Key (Cengage Learning / Wadsworth 2013)
  • Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader (Paraclete Press, 2nd edition 2013; 1st 2007)
  • Man of Blessing: A Life of Saint Benedict (Paraclete Press, paperback edition 2012; reprinted 2006; hardback 1st edition 2006)
  • Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language, 6th edition, co-author John Algeo (Cengage Learning / Wadsworth 2009); also Answer Key
  • Origins and Development of the English Language by John Algeo, 6th edition (Cengage Learning / Wadsworth 2009), revised text and updated fifty-page bibliography
  • A Little Daily Wisdom (Paraclete Press 2008; re-issue of Incandescence 2005)
  • God of Mercy: Ælfric’s Sermons and Theology (Mercer University Press 2006)
  • Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics (Paraclete Press, reprinted September 2005; first published March 2005)
  • Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language, 5th edition, co-author John Algeo (Heinle Thomson International / Wadsworth 2005); also Answer Key
  • Release and Restoration, edited and introduced (Shorter College Press 2004)
  • Origins and Development of the English Language by John Algeo and the late Thomas Pyles, 5th edition (Heinle Thomson International 2005), revised and edited text

Selected Articles

  • "The Strange Unmooring of Virtual Instruction," Writing Across BerkeleyOctober 26, 2020.
  • “Writing Anxiety,” Writing Across Berkeley,  October 11, 2019.
  • “Off the Tenure Track,” Writing Across Berkeley,  October 15, 2017.
  • “Recovering Unique Ælfrician Texts Using the Fiber Optic Light Cord (FOLC),” The Old English Newsletter (OEN), Roy M. Liuzza, ed. Vol. 36, No. 3 (Spring 2003): 13-22. Published by The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University.

Selected Refereed Presentations and Conference Participation

  • “Inquiry and the Undergraduate Researcher: Lessons from the UC Berkeley-Library of Congress Teaching Primary Sources (TPS) Pilot Project,” with College Writing Programs colleagues Kim Freeman and Ben Spanbock and also with Peggy O’Neill-Jones, Director of the Western Region TPS Program, at Social Media and Spirited Primary Source Inquiry, Baltimore, MD,  2:45pm-4:00pm on Nov. 23, November 21-24, 2019
  • “Listening into Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Approaches for Cultivating Dialogue in the Writing Classroom,” 8th Annual UC Writing Program Conference, UC Merced, November 2-3, 2018
  • “Boomers, Gen Xers, Xennials, Millennials, and Gen Zers: Teaching and Learning from the UCBMFET Generation,” College Writing Programs Forum: Journal Share 2.0, Quinn Room, UC Berkeley, April 12, 2018
  • “Digital Literacies and Visual Rhetoric: Scaffolding Meme-Based Assignment Sequence for Introductory Composition Classes” by Andie Silva at CUNY, Review of Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy article (December 19, 2016), Faculty Club Lounge, UC Berkeley, November 3, 2017
  • UC Irvine Writing Conference 2017: “Making Connections,” UC Irvine, October 6-7, 2017
  • AP Reader, ETS, Session II, Tampa, Florida, June 11-19, 2018
  • “The Spirituality of Hildegard of Bingen: Twelfth-Century Wisdom for the Age of Instagram,” in the Visions of Hildegard Lecture Series, Berry College, February 8, 2016
  • “Medieval ‘Environmentalists’: Hildegard, Julian, and Mechthild,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Atlanta, November 7-9, 2014
  • “Hildegard’s Authentic Word,” documentary interview for Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light,” 47th International Medieval Congress, Western Michigan University, May 13, 2012, for October 2012 Landmark Productions DVD, with Barbara Newman, Northwestern University; Beverly Kienzle, Harvard Divinity School; Bruce Hozeski, Ball State University; Susan Hellauer, Anonymous 4; Linn Maxwell Keller, Interviewer
  • “Hildegard of Bingen and the Polysemous Logos,” plenary address, International Society of Hildegard von Bingen, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, May 29, 2008-June 1, 2008
  • “Embracing a Global Home: A Southerner’s Fulbright Seoul Adventures,” Southern Women Writers Conference, Berry College, September 28, 2007
  • “The Questing Female in Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum,” 7th Annual Teaching Medieval Literature Conference, Georgia Gwinnett College, March 2-3, 2007
  • “A Trinity of Benedictines: How St. Benedict’s Rule Informs Works by Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabeth of Schönau, and Julian of Norwich,” 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 5, 2006
  • “Creating a Paperless Campus,” special session organizer and presentations referee, South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Atlanta, November 4-6, 2005
  • “The Case Against the Common Linguistic Phrase, ‘Native Speaker’,” Sogang University linguistic conference, Seoul, South Korea, May 4, 2005

Selected Radio Journalism

  • Interviewee with UC Berkeley College Writing students, in the BBC World Service The Compass four-part radio series “The Future of English,” episode 2: “Dialects and Evolution,” May 2018, listen in at the 22-minute mark; UC Berkeley undergraduate students interviewed are Vanessa Kayombya (CW R4B), Zachary Golan-Strieb (CW R4B), Emerson Hsieh (CW R4B), and Esther Smith (CW R4A)
  • Commentator on NPR’s The Morning Edition, with Rickey Bevington, May 23 and 26, 2008, September 16, 2009
  • Monthly Commentator for Georgia Public Broadcasting on GPB’s Georgia GazetteGeorgia Weekend Gazette, and The Issue with John Sepulvado, May 2008-October 2010
  • On-air interviews on the monthly 30-minute radio show on Rome’s WRGA AM1470 with broadcaster Nelle Reagan, 2007-2012

Selected On-Campus Lectures and Workshop Attendance

  • Presenter, “Teaching as Intergenerational Dialogue: Engaging Gen Z,” Showcase for Teaching Innovation and Reinvention (STIR) Presentation, 9:00am-12:00pm. Lightning talk (6 minutes with slides) at 9:45am and Q&A on four-lecturer panel, AIS, May 9, 2019.
  • Attendee, Adobe Spark Tutorial by Joseph Kearns, Digital Learning Specialist, Zoom Conference, also with Michelle Baptiste, 10:00am-11:30am, April 22, 2019.
  • Attendee, Cal Performances Mellon Grant Proposal Workshops, 1:00-2:30pm, February 21, 2019.
  • Presenter, “Engaging Gen Z: A Collaborative, Student-Authored Reading & Composition Guide Using Weebly,” Lecturer Teaching Fellowship (LTF) Program, 40-minute presentation with slide deck, 12:00pm-2:00pm, AIS, February 19, 2019.
  • Presenter, “Skeptical Surfing: Questioning the Mediascape Using Library of Congress Resources” with PowerPoint Slidedeck, Assignment Showcase: Designing for Digital Literacy for Library of Congress Discovery Pilot Project, AIS, 12pm-2pm, Dec. 6, 2018.
  • Set up assistance and attendee, Chiang Research Festival, 5th Floor Moffit, 7:45am-11:00am, December 3, 2018.
  • Participant/Presenter/Researcher, “Engaging Gen Z: A Collaborative, Student-Authored, Interactive Composition Guide Using Weebly,” project for the Lecturer Teaching Fellow (LTF) Program, yearlong monthly meetings and presentations, $1,500 instructional-improvement stipend upon completion, September 18, 2018-May 2019. Led by Michelle Douskey and Ryan Sloan and administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at UC Berkeley, LTF supports Fellows in generating dynamic tools and resources for enriching and/or innovating teaching practices on campus and are highlighted at
  • Participant, “Tips and Tricks: Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat” for Accessibility Improvement, Workshop by Joe Feria-Galicia, Wheeler 210, 1:00pm-2:30pm, November 8, 2018.
  • Attendee, CWP-Sponsored “Berkeley Writers at Work: featuring Edward Frenkel,” UC Berkeley, Morrison Library, October 23, 2018, 12-1:30pm
  • Participant, “Challenging Privilege: Genre, Sources, and the Writer’s Voice,” Designing for Digital Literacy, 4:00pm-5:30pm, October 23, 2018
  • Participant, ALLY, Scanning, & Accessibility Training Session with Joe Feria-Galicia, Accessibility Team Lead, UC Berkeley, Moffitt Library, 10:00am-11:00am, October 23, 2018
  • Participant, “Whose Line Is It, Anyway? Community Authorship and Collaborative Writing,” Designing for Digital Literacy, Academic Innovation Studio (AIS), 4:00pm-5:30pm, September 20, 2018
  • Participant/Graduate, Digital Pedagogy Fellows Program, with Dr. Rita Conrad, May 2018-September 2018. Final Luncheon, CTL, 114 Hearst Gym, Friday, September 7, 2018
  • Attendee, Summer Sessions Instructor Training Workshops: “Foundational Aspects of Teaching an Accelerated Course & Designing an Accelerated Learning Experience,” Dr. Rita Conrad, AIS, 10:00am-2:00pm, May 1, 2018
  • Attendee, College Writing Programs Symposium: Journal Share 2.0: CWP Presenters, Kim Freeman, Kaya Oakes, Ben Spanbock, Quinn Room, Berkeley, 5:00pm-6:15pm, April 13, 2018
  • Presenter, College Writing Programs Symposium, Journal Share 2.0: “Teaching and Learning from Gen Z,” Google Docs Folder here, Quinn Room, Berkeley, 5:30pm-6:00pm, April 12, 2018.
  • Participant, “Media-Rich Content: Towards a Purposeful Pedagogy,” Designing for Digital Literacy, 4:00pm-5:30pm, March 12, 2018.
  • Attendee, Michelle Baptiste’s Presentation, “It’s Just Good Teaching: Best Practices in Working with Multilingual Students,” Dwinelle 4B, UC Berkeley, February 28, 2018
  • Participant, “Digital Reading and Writing Discussion,” Designing for Digital Literacy, facilitated by Mike Larkin, Academic Innovation Studio, UC Berkeley, 4pm-5:30pm, February 1, 2018
  • Attendee, CWP-Sponsored “Berkeley Writers at Work: Catherine Cineza Choy,” UC Berkeley, Morrison Library, October 11, 2017, 12-1:30pm
  • Attendee, “Course Content Accessibility: Overview of Best Practices,” Academic Innovation Studio, July 27, 2017

Student Events

  • Co-facilitator, Bear Tales: A Storytelling Event, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Maude Fife Room, Thursday, November 14, 2019. With the creator of this event, Mary Grover, co-teacher of CW 10A, help plan, host, plus assist students with practice and coaching in the evenings for this student-led event featuring the best CW public speakers.
  • Practice Session for Bear Tales, November 11, 2019, 6:30pm-8:00pm.
  • Co-facilitator, Bear Tales: A Storytelling Event, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Maude Fife Room, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. With the creator of this event, Mary Grover, co-teacher of CW 10A, help plan, host, plus assist students with practice and coaching in the evenings for this student-led event featuring the 12 best CW public speakers.
  • Practice Session for Bear Tales, 251 Dwinelle, April 18, 2019, 6:00pm-7:00pm. Ken, Nate, and Ryan (solo 10A), Ananya and Stephanie (our co-taught 10A), plus others.

Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

  • Erinn Wong, CW R4B student Spring 2018, received an honorable mention in the 2019 Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research for the project ("Digital Blackface: How 21st Century Internet Language Reinforces Racism"), awarded 4:00pm-6:00pm, Morrison Library, May 8, 2019.

Selected Campus Interviews and Other Participation

  • Interviewee, Andy Guest, UC Berkeley Extension Content Marketing. Free Speech Movement Café, 10:00am, Friday, April 13, 2018. Posted at
  • Participant, Tau Kappa Epsilon Scholarship Dinner, TKE House, 2725 Channing, Berkeley, invited by R4B student Varun Wadhwa, April 10, 2018, 7:00pm-9:00pm.
  • Interviewee, Adobe Creative Cloud Research Project, interviewed by Haas Economics major Patcharapol (Copter) Lee-Issaranukul for Berkeley ABA (Fall 2017 R1A student) on ways for students to build soft skills in their coursework and extracurricular activities, March 15, 2018.
  • Interviewee, Berkeley Women in Business (BWIB) Marketing Committee focused on breaking the glass ceiling for women in the workforce, specifically the business world for a bi-weekly series for the blog “Females in the Faculty,” 15-minute interview sharing my experiences in the workforce, providing advice, and discussing relevant topics on empowering young female leaders, invited by Sonal Kapoor, Marketing Committee Member, Berkeley Women in Business, UC Berkeley, March 15, 2018. See here.
  • Neologism memefound accepted for SLC Writing Program initiaffair! to celebrate Berkeley’s 150th birthday by creating a Fiat Luxicon, March 15, 2018, and by Urban Dictionary May 2018. Memefound also accepted in Urban DictionaryMay 22, 2018.
  • Participant, Brief Comments on “Advice I’d Give My First-Year Self,” Cal Alumni Association Spring 2018 Annual Scholar Faculty Dinner for The Achievement Awards Program (TAAP), UC Berkeley, Toll Room, Alumni House, invited by Harutyun Markosyan (R4B Section 15), March 13, 2018, 5:30pm-8:00pm
  • Alumni Day, California Men’s and Women’s Rowers, Oakland Rogers Rowing Center, March 10, 2018.
  • Instructor Spotlight Award, Fall Program for Freshmen, David Brower Center—Tamalpais Room and Terrace Reception, UC Berkeley, January 10, 2018
  • Participant, 2017 Winter Commencement/Chancellor Investiture Academic and Stage Party Procession December 17, 2017
  • Attendee and Responder, Chiang Research Festival, UC Berkeley, Academic Innovation Studio, December 4, 2017
  • Participant, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority Dessert Gathering, Invited by Felicia Sharpe in R1A, Sorority House, UC Berkeley, October 26, 2018
  • Participant, Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Faculty Dinner, UC Berkeley, Foothill Complex Dining Room, invited by Deepa Bajwa (R1A FPF), 5:00pm-9:00pm, October 17, 2017
  • Attendee, Chinese Student Club Karaoke, invited by Chen Yikun Cheng in R1A, UC Berkeley, Dwinelle Hall, 6:00pm-9:00pm, September 14, 2017
  • Student Greeter and Attendee, Chancellor’s New Student Convocation, Haas Pavilion, August 15, 2017.

Peer-Review and Editorial Work

  • World Englishes, published by Wiley-Blackwell, editors Kingsley Bolton & Daniel Davis
  • The Fulbright Review, Seoul, South Korea, Editorial Board, 2005-2006

Professional Experience

  • Full-Time Lecturer, College Writing Programs, University of California, Berkeley, 2017-present
  • Professor of English and Scholar-in-Residence, Shorter College, 2010-2016
  • Associate Professor of English and Scholar-in-Residence, Shorter College, 2005-2010
  • Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea, 2004-2005
  • Assistant Professor of English, Shorter College, 2002-2005
  • Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Lecturer, University of London, 1989-1991
  • Teaching Assistant, English Department, University of Georgia, 1986-1989
  • Research Assistant, Comparative Literature, University of Georgia, 1984-1986
  • Rotary International Scholar, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, 1983-1984

Teaching Fellowships and Honors

  • Lecturer Teaching Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
  • Digital Pedagogy Fellows Program, University of California, Berkeley
  • Instructor Spotlight Award, Fall Program for Freshmen, University of California, Berkeley
  • Carnegie Foundation / CASE Georgia Professor of the Year
  • President’s Teaching and Scholarship Award, Shorter College
  • 46th Georgia Author of the Year for The Cloud of Unknowing
  • Georgia Woman of the Year Nominee, Georgia Commission on Women
  • Who’s Who in North America
  • Who’s Who Among Collegiate Faculty
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
  • University of Georgia Graduate Teaching Award and Graduate Scholar Award