- Ph.D. English and American Literature, Brandeis University, 1994
- M.A. Brandeis University, 1993
- M.A. University of Massachusetts, Boston, 1988
- B.A. Hampshire College, 1974
- African American Literature
- Austen, Bronte, Eliot
- City/Country II: American Literary Landscapes 1900-1960
- City/Country: Literary Landscapes 1860-1920
- Contemporary Women’s Novels
- Cross-Cultural American Women’s Novels
- Literature, Science, and Spirituality
- Native American Literature
- Native American Literature with a Focus on New Mexico
- Nineteenth Century American Women
- Processing the Unexpected Journey
- The Nature of Narrative
- The Nature of Narrative II
I earned the B.A. in Literature and Philosophy from Hampshire College in 1974, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts/Boston in 1988, a second M.A. in Women’s Studies from Brandeis University in 1993, and the Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis in 1994. From 1993 to 1995 I was an adjunct and then visiting faculty member at both Boston College and Brandeis University. During the years between my undergraduate education and graduate school, I had a wide range of professional experiences, including as a technical writer and computer assistant.
Scholarly and Creative Interests
I see myself first and foremost as a teacher and mentor. I came to COA in 1995 and have served many years as one of the college’s academic deans. My research on 19th and 20th century American women’s and minority literature is highly interdisciplinary and I have a wide diversity of literary, historical, and scientific passions, particularly the exploration of otherness and consciousness in narrative form and the power of language to represent and transform.
More Information about my Courses
Students in my classes engage actively in literary studies and literary works, experiencing all of their component parts. My courses all involve reading, thinking, discussing, and writing. Students are theorists and thinkers already; my goal and practice involves fanning the flames. After all, books contain the world and provide a window onto and into that world. In my classes, we read.
More About Me
Besides reading, writing, and teaching, I garden when I can, tend the plants in my office, and spend time thinking about psychology, education, religions, social identities, ecology, and the meaning of life. I am married to a software architect and the mother of two intelligent and wonderful grown sons.
Community Engagement and Advocacy
I’ve spent many years as an academic dean of one sort or another. I’ve also been a soccer mom and have run sections of professional organizations.
Honors and Awards
Board of Trustees Resolution of Thanks for Ten Years of Academic 2008
Board of Trustees Resolution of Thanks for Service as Academic Dean 2006
Honorary Member of COA Graduating Class 1999
University Mellon Dissertation Fellowship 1992 – 1993
Departmental Prize, 1991–1992 Feminist Theory Essay 1992
Departmental Teaching Award (2 semesters) 1991 – 1992
Grossbardt Fellowship, Brandeis University 1990 – 1991
Faiglberger Assistantship, Brandeis University 1989 – 1990
Toward a Literary Ecology of Place in American Literature. Ed. Karen Waldron and
Robert Friedman. Scarecrow Press (2013).
“Death” and “History.” Toni Morrison Encyclopedia. Ed. Elizabeth Beaulieu. Westport,
CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
“The Land as Consciousness: Ecological Being and the Movement of Words in the Works of Leslie Marmon Silko.” Such News of the Land: American Women Nature Writers. Ed. Thomas S. Edwards and Elizabeth DeWolfe. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001.
“No Separations in the City.” Separate Spheres No More: Gender Convergence in American Literature 1830-1930. Ed. Monika Elbert. Birmingham: Univ. of Alabama Press, 2000.
“Kim Chernin.” Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. E. Paula Hyman, Deborah Dash Moore, and Paula Hyman. New York: Routledge, 1997.
“Kim Chernin.” American Women Writers: Supplement. Ed. Carol Hurd Green and Mary G. Mason. New York: Crossroads/Continuum (1994).
“Recovering Eve’s Consciousness from The Sound and the Fury,” Women’s Studies Special Issue on William Faulkner (Summer 1993).
“The ‘I’ in the Waiting Room: Sight and Insight in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop,” Worcester Review XIII:1&2 (Spring 1992).
The long list below shows the diversity of my scholarly interests. Conferences are a wonderful way to keep my scholarship alive.
“Twelve Strange Men: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Zora Neale May 2015
Hurston’s Trial.”Law and Legal Figures in Twentieth Century Ethnic
American Fiction. American Literature Association Annual Conference.
Co-Chair, “Literary Landscapes: Historical, Psychological, and April 2015
Ecological Reimaginings of Place. Northeast Modern Language
Association (NeMLA) Annual Conference.
“Using the Sidekick in the Feminist Cause? Laurie King’s Mary Russell April 2015
Remakes of Sherlock Holmes.” Popular Culture Association (PCA)
Chair, “America’s Mythic Landscapes and Iconic Places: Human/Nature April 2014
Intersections.” NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Claiming Nature: Sarah Orne Jewett’s Proto-Ecofeminist April 2014
Argumentation.” Ecofeminist Readings of 19th Century American
Women’s Fiction. NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Constructions of Landscape in American Literature I: Human/ March 2013
Nature Intersections.” NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Contemporary Humans and Nature: Barry Lopez’ ‘Winter Count’ and March 2013
Remembering Places through Cognitive Dissonance. ” NeMLA
“The Limits of Biblical Self-Authorization: Sarah Grimké’s Letters March 2013
on the Equality of the Sexes.” Roundtable. NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “The Question of Voicing in Nineteenth-Century American March 2012
Women’s Literature.” NeMLA Annual Conference.
“A Country Doctor and Female Authority: Sarah Orne Jewett’s (Anxious) March 2012
Influences.” Women and Medicine Session, NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Willa Cather’s Literary Ecology in O Pioneers!,” Literary Landscapes: April 2011
Representation and Imagination Session, NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Contemporary Women’s Novels: The Changing Story?,” April 2011
NeMLA Annual Conference.
“The Christian Indians: Wrestling With Conversation in the Native April 2010
American Literature Classroom,” Native American Literature Session,
NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Urban Places: The Literary Ecology of American Cities,” April 2010
NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Agatha Christie and ‘The Purloined Letter’.” PCA Annual Conference. April 2010
“The Silent Partner and Deafness: A Story of Three Women,” Deafness Feb. 2009
in American Literature Session, NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Methods of Literary Ecology in American Literature: The Feb. 2009
Constitution of Place,” NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, Mystery and Detective Area Hosted Discussion of James Lee April 2009
Burke’s The Tin-Roof Blowdown. PCA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Investigating New Orleans: The Work of James Lee Burke. PCA April 2009
“Chandlerian Reprise or Revision: Gender and Romance in James Lee April 2009
Burke‘s Dave Robicheaux Series,” PCA Annual Conference.
“The Complex Environment of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were June 2008
Watching God as Complete Literary Ecology” Nature and Environmental
Writers (NEW-CUE) Biennial Conference.
Chair, Poetry Session, NEW-CUE Biennial Conference. June 2008
“Traveling in Tibet with Eliot Pattison,” PCA Annual Conference. March 2008
“Desire and Danger: Negotiating the Real Reader through Representations April 2008
in Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple,” NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, “”From the Country to the City: Literary Ecology in April 2008
American Realism and Naturalism, NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Collaborating on the Scholarly Essay” with Julia Gregory. March 2007
NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Echoes of – or answers to – the lost Lenore? Edgar Allen Poe’s Theory April 2005
of Dead Women and Three Twenty-First Century Women’s Mysteries.”
PCA Annual Conference.
“Different Sexes, Different Series: Dana Stabenow’s Male and Female April 2003
Leads and Lives.” PCA Annual Conference.
“Mongrels, Shadows, and Stories in Mirrors: Cities as Sanctuaries in March 2003
Gerald Vizenor’s Dead Voices.” “Imagining Native Americans Off the
Reservation” Panel. NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair,“Nineteenth-Century American Women: The Short Fiction.” March 2003
Two panels. NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Women Who Run with the Wolves: Dana Stabenow’s (Re)Gendering April 2001
Plots.” PCA Annual Conference.
Chair, “Ethnicities, Regions and Nature Writing: Complicating the March 2001
Landscapes of American Realism 1860-1920.” NeMLA Annual
“Teaching Cooke, Davis, Woolson, Freeman, Austin, Sin-Far March 2001
—and Jewett—in Maine: Regionalism and Women Authors
in Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy.” NeMLA Annual Conference.
“The Problem of Female Awakening in A Lost Lady: Despair, Desire and April 2000
Landscape as Interacting Spiritual Frontiers.” Women in the Spiritual West Conference.
“Historical Events in Contemporary International Women’s Novels: A Case April 2000
Study of the Intersection of Historical Vision and Women’s Plots,.”
“Historical Events, Historical Figures, Contemporary Fictions: The
Historical Vision of Contemporary Novelists” Session. NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, Nineteenth-Century Periodical Literature and the Evolution of the April 2000
American Novel: Reading Proliferating Narrative Forms, Technologies, and Identities. NeMLA Annual Conference.
“The Radical Work of Marketing Compromises, or: Can Mainstream April 2000
Publishing be a (Lesbian) Feminist Act? Examining the Case of Katherine
Forrest.” Popular Culture Association.
“Women in the City: An Evolution of Realism through Women’s Plots April 1999
from Fanny Fern to Stephen Crane.” American Realism Session,
NeMLA Annual Conference.
Chair, Roots, Regions, and Realisms: Appalachian Literature and April 1999
American Community. NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Women and Evil: The Modern Female Detective.” Popular Culture April 1999
Chair, City/Country: American Literary Landscapes, NeMLA April 1998
“Illness, Rage, and the Question of Plot: The Risks and Rewards of April 1998
Heroine Survival.” Nineteenth-Century American Women: Communicating
Through Illness Session, NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Environmental Literature: The Literary Ecology of Team-Teaching.” Oct. 1997
Society for Literature and Science Annual Conference.
Chair, American Women Writers Section: “Imagining Science.” NeMLA April 1997
“Indians, White Women, and Removals: the Migration of Story in Oct. 1996
(Re)Publications of Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative.”
American Studies Association Annual Conference.
Chair, African American Women Writers Section, NeMLA Annual April 1996
“O My Frontier: Willa Cather and the American Literary Landscape.” April 1996
American Women Writers Section, NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Discovering or Creating the Shape of Time? Reading The Time Machine April 1995
through Einstein’s Dreams.” Literature and Science Section, NeMLA
“The Narrative and the Shape of Time” April 1995
Society for the Study of Narrative Literature Annual Conference.
Chair, Willa Cather Section, NeMLA Annual Conference. April 1994
“The Masculine Rescue of the Feminine in Toni Morrison’s Song of April 1994
Solomon and Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day.”
African American Women Writers Section, NeMLA Annual Conference.
“Problematic Novels of Female Awakening: From Edna Pontellier March 1994
to Myra Henshawe,.” Willa Cather’s Women Panel
Philological Association of the Carolinas .
“Feminism, Religion and the Instruments of Women’s Voicing.” Oct. 1993
Antebellum America Panel
LeMoyne Forum on Religion and the Literary Imagination.
“Breaking the Bonds of Form: The Sketch and the Emergence of the March 1993
Mother’s Voice in Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall.”
Nineteenth-Century American Literature Section, NeMLA Annual
“The Power of Feminine Consciousness: Authority, Voice and Myth in Oct. 1992
Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
Mid-Atlantic Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference.
“Awakening to Death and Life: Feminine Consciousness and the April 1992
Problem of Desire in The Awakening and A Lost Lady.”
Willa Cather Section, NeMLA Annual Conference.