Director of the Program in American Studies, Professor
English, American Studies (On Leave 2013-2014)
Her broad, interdisciplinary research interests have led her to focus on topics including the ways in which American writers’ apprenticeships in journalism shaped their poetry and fiction; the influence of African American voices on canonical American literature; the development of feminist criticism; the relationship between public history and literary history; and the challenge of desegregating American literary studies. Although much of her work has centered on Mark Twain, she has also published on writers including Gloria Anzaldúa, John Dos Passos, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Erica Jong, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sinclair Lewis, Tillie Olsen, and Walt Whitman.