Emeritus & Retired Faculty
- Professor, Emerita
Introduction to Literature; British Survey II; World Literature; Victorian Literature; Victorian Literature and Culture
A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, I am a graduate of Hamilton College, Clinton NY (Summa cum Laude, English and Asian Studies, 1988). Following graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (English MA 1991; Victorian Literature PhD 1997), I began teaching at WKU in 1997 and, since 2007, serve as Senior Editor and General Manager of Victorians Journal of Literature and Culture (formerly Victorian Newsletter). Professional affiliations include MLA, NAVSA, Victorians Institute, RSVP, Martineau Society, and Harriet Martineau Sociological Society. In addition to both a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2002) and an NEH Fellowship (2004-05), I have been selected for a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship in the Senior Research category. I’ll be pursuing my project, “Indian Women Writing in English during the Colonial Period,” in Kolkata, India (2012). Publications include:
Harriet Martineau, Victorian Imperialism, and the Civilizing Mission. Ashgate, 2010.
The Hour and the Woman. Harriet Martineau's "somewhat remarkable" Life. N. Illinois UP, 2002.
Fallenness in Victorian Women's Writing. 'Marry, stitch, die, or do worse.' U Missouri P, 1998.
Harriet Martineau and Ireland: Post-famine Reconstruction. Lehigh UP, 2012.
Harriet Martineau. Unpublished Letters. Lehigh UP, 2011.
Lives of Victorian Political Figures: Florence Nightingale, Pickering & Chatto, 2008.
Collected Letters of Harriet Martineau, 5 vols. Pickering & Chatto, 2007.
Harriet Martineau: History of England and Military Reform, 6 vols. Pickering & Chatto, 2005.
Harriet Martineau's Writing on the British Empire, 5 vols. Pickering & Chatto, 2004.
Harriet Martineau's Illustrations of Political Economy. Selected Tales. Broadview Press, 2004.
Writings on Slavery and the American Civil War by Harriet Martineau. N. Illinois UP, 2002.
My teaching philosophy is simple and direct. The goal of teaching, in my view, is to help students learn how to think for themselves, and to that end, I encourage original thinking that can be demonstrably based on such primary tools as critical reading, critical thinking, and critical writing. Literary analyses are only partially subjective, requiring awareness of the socio-cultural, rhetorical, and literary contexts in which texts are written and to which they respond. While establishing those contexts is central to my literature classes, my approach is to offer minimal lecturing in favor of class discussion, facilitating an environment in which the risks associated with original thinking and its articulation are encouraged and fostered.