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University Writing Program

University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8581

For AWP Exam Call:
(530) 752-0450

Main Office:
109 Voorhies Hall

(530) 752-0369 phone
(530) 752-5013 fax

Office Hours:

Director: Carl Whithaus
Email: cwwhithaus
Phone: 530-752-0369

Karma Waltonen
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Karma Waltonen

  • Continuing Lecturer
355 Voorhies

Office Hours: T 2-3, W 3-5


  1. Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  2. M.A., Florida State University (Literature)
  3. B.A., Florida State University (Theatre)
  4. B.A., Florida State University (English)


Karma Waltonen has been teaching at UC Davis since 2000. The former President of the Margaret Atwood Society, Karma has a wide variety of interests, most of which are incredibly nerdy (and geeky). For example, she recently co-authored The Simpsons in the Classroom: Embiggening the Learning Experience with the Wisdom of Springfield. This year, she has published on time travel in Star Trek and on the ethics of religious cults in Doctor Who; she is completing an article on asexuality in BBC's Sherlock. She speaks at various ComicCons and at international conferences--most recently, she spoke on The Simpsons in Helsinki, Margaret Atwood at the Modern Language Association Conference, and on a writing assignment she created, at the PCA/ACA conference.

Dr. Waltonen (her students call her Dr. Karma) is the editor of Margaret Atwood Studies and The University Writing Program publication, Prized Writing. She is on the editorial board of The Journal of Popular Culture. She is currently editing three books as well--on The Simpsons, on Atwood and the Apocalypse, and on best practices for composition assignments.

In addition to her research on literature, rhetoric, and composition, Karma also writes poetry, creative non-fiction, plays, and jokes for her stand-up routines. Despite her love for comedy, Karma continually tries to kill it through analysis. Her Freshman Seminars on The Simpsons, British Humor, and American Satire have only strengthened its reserves, however. One of her most successful Freshman Seminars, Writing and Performing Stand-Up Comedy, has a spin-off student club (UC Davis Stand-Up), of which she is the faculty adviser. They were recently invited by the Mondavi Center to perform on picnic day.

In addition to her seminars, she most commonly teaches UWP 102D, 104F, 101, 18, and Workload English.

Drop by her office for conversation or impromptu lectures on Monty Python, Margaret Atwood, Eddie Izzard, Science Fiction, Weird Al Yankovic, how to write for a hostile audience, Graphic Novels, or The Simpsons.

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