[Pictured L to R: Kristen Lacefield, Sarah Marsh, Jeanne Moskal, Emily Brewer, Rebecca Nesvet, Doreen Thierauf, and Jena Al-Fuhaid. Photo by Sara D. Davis]
My book-in-progress, “Jane Eyre’s Sisters: Women Missionaries and the Novel in the Age of Fundamentalism,” demonstrates that novels about missionaries have participated in a pervasive forgetting of the liberal, humanitarian-service missionary tradition of orphanages, hospitals, and schools in favor of stressing a fundamentalist orientation to proselytizing. In particular, I show that Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) was adapted by novelists of the 1930s, the Cold War, and the Reagan era to respond specifically not to foreign missionaries but to American fundamentalists at home. This project unites my interests in women writers, travel literature, and literary representation of religion and of relations between religions. The project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
My previous books are: Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness (1994); an edition of Mary Shelley's travel writing for the standard scholarly edition of her work, The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley (1996); and a collection, co-edited with Shannon R. Wooden, Teaching British Women Writers, 1750-1900 (2005).
The undergraduate courses I regularly teach are English 87 (Jane Austen Then and Now), English 145 (Travel Literature), English 437 (Chief British Romantic Writers); and English 438 (Nineteenth-Century Women Writers).
My dissertation students have come from South Africa, Hungary, the U.K., and Kuwait as well as the United States, and have written about such topics as: Mary Shelley and contemporary horror film; British travel writings about Continental spas; the British constitution in Regency novels, medicine, and law; Gothic novelists’ engagement with obstetrics; Keats among the era's physician-poets; women religious controversialists; and "sympathy" as a pre-Marxist register for social class. I recently received the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council’s award for mentoring graduate students. Of the twelve dissertants I have advised to date (2014), four have earned tenure; three are on tenure-track; two have fixed-term appointments; and one has founded her own business.
Faculty Mentoring Award (faculty to graduate student), given by Women's Leadership Council, UNC-CH, 2013.
M.A. Mentoring Award, given by Association of Graduate English Students, UNC-CH, 2003.
Ph.D. Mentoring Award, given by Association of Graduate English Students, UNC-CH, 2001.
Mentioned as an outstanding UNC-CH faculty member (one of ten mentioned) in The Young Woman’s Guide to the Top Colleges by Robert Mitchell (New York: John Wiley, 1998), p. 300.
Named a "Favorite Faculty" Member of the Senior Class of 1997, one of 57 among c. 3800 UNC-CH faculty, 1997.
Nomination for Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction, UNC-CH, 1997.
One of the UNC-CH’s "Top Ten Professors" by Granville Towers, a dormitory with 1300 residents, 1987.
Ph. D., University of Washington M.A., University of Washington B.A., Santa Clara University