My classes focus on the interpretation of literature as a way to learn from the past, to appreciate beautiful sentences, and to engage in the rigorous construction of arguments. At Hollins I am able to incorporate my love of books and writing with my profound respect for women and their power. Hollins is a place where women discover and use their strengths, where the written word is valued, and where relationships are formed through open, thoughtful conversation. I’m grateful to be part of this community of talented students, faculty, and staff.
Areas of Expertise
- Nineteenth-Century British literature
- Children's and Young Adult literature
- Gender Studies
- Disability Studies
- First-Year Seminar on "Middlemarch"
- Introduction to Children's Literature
- Seminar in Jane Austen
- Romantic Poetry
- Nineteenth-Century Women Writers
- American Girls' Fiction
- Seminar in Milton
- History and Criticism of Children's Literature (graduate)
- Gender and Girls' Fiction (graduate)
- Childbirth in America (Short Term)
- M.A., Ph.D., University of Connecticut
- B.A., Carleton College
Publications & Articles
- “The Backfisch and Stories of Female Adolescence,” article in "Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature"
- “Gendering Disability, Disabling Gender: What Katy Did and Nineteenth-Century Female Bodies," co-author with Darla Schumm, Fall 2017
- In "Embodied Readings: Child Readers and Children in Literature," New York: Routledge, 2017
- “John Milton’s Influence on the Inspired Poetry of Charlotte Brontë.” Brontë Studies, Vol. 28, March 2003: 37-45.
- Editor, Children’s Literature. Volumes 28-39, 45. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000-2011, 2017
- Chair of the Faculty, Hollins University, 2013-2015
- Fulbright Senior Scholar to Germany, taught at Johann-Wolfgang University, 2004-2005
- My current research project focuses on what the Germans call the Backfisch novel – a novel for girls that focuses on the adolescent girl’s transformation from girlhood to womanhood. These nineteenth-century novels were wildly popular and played a key role in the development of the contemporary young adult novel. They help us to see the ways that becoming a woman is hard work rather than a natural process; they call into question many of our assumptions about mothering, gender, and the “normal” female body.