Associate Professor of English/Gender Studies Program Director, Johnson Center Director
English / Academic
- Sherman Hall 107
B.A., Rocky Mountain College
M.A., University of Montana
Ph.D., University of Arizona
Literary critic Elizabeth Cook-Lynn reminds us that “Art and literature and storytelling are at the epicenter of all that a nation or an individual intends to be” (Anti-Indianism in Modern America, 118). This is why students in my American literature classes study the captivity accounts, slave narratives, American Indian literature, and sensational novels that represent the marginalized voices of women and minority writers in the United States’ literary history. We read both canonical and obscure literature including women’s diaries and scrapbooks in order to question what makes a text “literature” or “literary“ and how literature communicates what it means and has meant to be an American.
In the spirit of the the feminist author bell hooks, I believe that “Educating is always a vocation rooted in hopefulness,” and I am constantly amazed by how my Austin College students use literature to connect with their world in empathetic, humane, and very human ways (Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, iv).
- C/I (Freshman Seminar): Uncle Tom’s Cabin: An American Classic on Trial
- English 250: RISE UP! Protest and Dissent in American Literature
- English 251: Slave Narratives (co-taught with History 250: African American Experience)
- English 350: Mapping Early American Literature
- English 353: Canons of Nineteenth-Century American Literature
- English 450: Recovery Projects in the Pre-1900 American Literary Archive (Mellon Digital Pedagogy course)
I research the captivity literature of the United States, including Indian captivity narratives, Barbary pirate accounts, anti-Mormon novels, and anti-Catholic literature. I’m interested in the intersections of gender, race, and religion in how this literature represents the social and political anxieties of its day.
During my 2014 sabbatical, I was a visiting scholar at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies in Provo, Utah and also did research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
Book chapters and articles:
“Canons of Nineteenth-Century American Literature: How to Use Literature Circles to Teach Popular, Under-Represented, and Canonical Literary Traditions.” Teaching Tainted Lit: Popular American Literature and the Perils and Pleasures of the Classroom. Ed. Janet Casey. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2015. 31-47; 204-5.
“Religious Popular Culture and the Critique of Romantic Racialism in Harriet E. Wilson’s Our Nig.” Nineteenth-Century American Women Write Religion: Lived Theologies and Literature. Ed. Mary Wearn. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 77-88.
“Critical Regionalism, the U.S.-Mexican War, and Nineteenth-Century American Literary History.” Western American Literature 48 (2013): 181-98.
“’Hell on Women and Cattle’: Domestic Captivity and the Laugh of the Medusa in Nannie Alderson’s A Bride Goes West.” Western Literature Association, Big Sky, Montana, September 23, 2016.
“Intersections of Research and Teaching: The Feminist Praxis of Annette Kolodny” Panel on “Annette Kolodny and Her Publics: Reading Academia’s Future through the Past.” Women’s Caucus of the Modern Languages Association. Modern Languages Association. Austin, Texas. January 8, 2016.
“Female Life Among the Mormons: White Womanhood and Regeneration Through Violence Against Mormons.” Western Literature Association, Reno, Nevada. October 16, 2015.
“Digital Humanities Projects in a Partnered Course.” Roundtable presenter with Professor Jackie Moore on “Teaching the Digital North American Slave Narrative.” C19: Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. March 14, 2014.
- Director, Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching
- Texoma American Association of University Women (AAUW) Woman of Achievement Award, 2014
- Needlework Guild of America (NGA), Member starting in 2016
- Grayson Crisis Center, Board Member