I have devoted my scholarly career to examining the unlikely fortunes of religious ideas (such as "forgiveness" and "mission") in post-Enlightenment contexts, especially in the British Romantic Period; to recovering forgotten works by women writers, especially travel writers and missionaries; and to establishing the legitimacy of travel literature as a subject of academic study. I authored Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness (1994); edited Mary Shelley's travel writing for the standard scholarly edition of her work, The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley (1996); and co-edited, with Shannon R. Wooden, a collection of essays, Teaching British Women Writers, 1750-1900 (2005). My current book-in-progress, "Women Missionaries: A Literary History," has received funding from a Lilly Foundation Grant, a year-long Fellowhship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and, in Spring 2009, from the Carolina Women's Center. For a list of my articles, click here.
I edit the Keats-Shelley Journal, an annual founded in 1952 and the journal of record for second-generation British Romantic writers. The 2006 Keats-Shelley Journal was a special issue on Regency Women Writers; the 2007 issue devoted a cluster of essays to Romantic Travel and Tourism, and we plan a cluster on History of Reading in the Regency for the 2008 issue. For more information about submitting to the Keats-Shelley Journal, or about joining the Keats-Shelley Association of America, or about participating in the Association's Mentoring Program, please go the Keats-Shelley Association website.
The first two titles in a book series I edit, "Writing Travel," were published by Parlor Press in May 2006. They are "Vienna Voices" by Jill Knight Weinberger and "Eating Europe" by Jon Volkmer. The series is devoted to original travel writing, criticism or biographies of important travel writers, and editions or translations of hard-to-get travel texts. My other travel-literature activities include my work as Founding President of the International Society for Travel Writing from 2001 to 2005 and the founding of the MLA Discussion Group on Travel Literature.
The Carolina Women's Center has named me its Faculty Scholar for Spring 2009. During my fellowship, I will be working on a book-in-progress, "Women Missionaries: A Literary History," which recovers for scholarly attention about 40 women authors who participated in the Protestant missionary movement and shows the role of genre in representing interfaith relations. Missionary Kate Marsden, pictured, is one of the authors discussed, as is Minnie Vautrin, the subject of the film, *Nanking,* scheduled for wide release in December 2007. (Photo courtesy of UNC-CH Health Sciences Library)
Students working with me have written on a variety of topics in travel literature and Romantic-period studies, including: British travelers-for-health and Continental spas; Gothic novelists and controversies in obstetrics; Keats in the context of contemporary physician-poets; women writers and controversies about biblical authority; and "sympathy" as a pre-Marxist register for social class. For my work with graduate students, including three years as Director of Ph.D. Placement, I have twice received the AGES Mentoring Award (2001, 2003).
Hire Date: 1984
Ph. D., University of Washington
M.A., University of Washington
B.A., Santa Clara University
"On the Amazon." Frontispiece to Three Vassar Girls in South America by Lizzie W. Champney. Boston, 1885. From the copy in the Rare Book Collection, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.