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Department of English

Literature Track Faculty and Their Interests

Tim Dayton specializes in 20th century American literature and Marxist literary and cultural theory. He has recently published on crime novelist Jim Thompson, German theorists Ernst Bloch and Walter Benjamin, and American poet Muriel Rukeyser. He has recently completed a book on Muriel Rukeyser's long poem The Book of the Dead, and currently is working on American literature and culture in relation to the First World War.

Elizabeth Dodd teaches creative writing and literature. Her latest book, In the Mind’s Eye: Essays Across the Animate World, appeared from University of Nebraska Press in September, 2008 and won the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Best Creative Book Award.

M. L. Donnelly teaches Milton and Seventeenth-Century courses in the Graduate Program. While his teaching attempts to balance the treatment of questions of form and value with issues of historical and cultural context, his publications have centered mainly on intellectual and cultural history and what might be called the sociology of literature. He has published articles in Prose Studies, RES, and John Donne Journal, and pieces for collections on Poetry and Politics in the Seventeenth Century, the celebrated and neglected poetry of Andrew Marvell, Marvell and Liberty, the English Civil Wars in the literary imagination, patronage, politics, and literary traditions in England 1558-1658, seventeenth-century erotic poetry, and literary circles and cultural communities in renaissance England. He is particularly interested in the uses of classical antecedents in renaissance English literature, and in the idea of history and the situation of a modern subjectivity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, areas in which his ongoing research efforts are concentrated.

Gregory Eiselein specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and literary theory. He is especially interested in topics such as emotion and contradiction in literature and authors such as Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott. He is the author of Literature and Humanitarian Reform in the Civil War Era and the editor of several books including the Norton Critical Edition of "Little Women," Emma Lazarus: Selected Writings, Adah Isaacs Menken: Selected Writings, and The Louisa May Alcott Encyclopedia. His current research focuses on the significance of Alcott's writings within their historical and cultural contexts.

Carol Franko specializes in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and utopian literature.

Dean Hall's primary teaching interests are early American literature and literature of India and Pakistan. He teaches graduate courses in the New Rise of the American Novel, Whitman/Dickinson, and PostColonial Theory and Literature. He also is active in team teaching in the Program for the Study of Origins and the course in Human Rights for the Honors College.

Christina Hauck teaches 20th-century British literature and culture. Her primary interests are in modernism, interwar lit and culture, and poetry. Her research explores representations of sexuality and sexual reproductivity.

Don Hedrick teaches courses in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, cultural studies and theory, gender, and film. His research and creative interests also include: horror, violence, and the Gothic; popular culture; the movie advertising industry (trailers); marxism and cultural materialism; interartistic studies; screenwriting, theater and performance. He has co-edited a collection, Shakespeare Without Class: Misappropriations of Cultural Capital.

Anne Longmuir teaches courses in Victorian literature and culture and the contemporary American novel. She has published work on Charlotte Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Don DeLillo, and J. M. Coetzee. She is currently researching a book-length project on national identity and gender in the mid-Victorian novel.

Jim Machor teaches courses in nineteenth-century and colonial American literature and culture, fiction, and criticism & theory. A former senior Fulbright and National Endowments for the Humanities fellow, he has published Pastoral Cities: Urban Ideals and the Symbolic Landscape of America (1987), Readers in History: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Contexts of Response (1993), and Reception Study: From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies (2001).

Wendy Matlock specializes in medieval literature and culture, with an emphasis on Middle English debate poetry from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. She teaches courses on Old and Middle English literature, medieval and renaissance humanities, and theories of performance, gossip, and voyeurism.

Philip Nel teaches Literature for Children, Literature for Adolescents, Harry Potter's Library; he has taught courses in Don DeLillo and in Contemporary American Literature. He is the author of Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004), The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity: Small Incisive Shocks (2002), and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (2001).

Bonnie Nelson teaches courses on women's contributions to the development of the novel and the drama in eighteenth-century Britain. Her "recovery" research centers on little-known but important women writers from the Restoration period through the "long" eighteenth century.

Anne Phillips specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American children's and adolescent literature, including the works of Louisa May Alcott, Jean Webster, Gene Stratton-Porter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Janet Lambert.

Donna Potts enjoys teaching African literature, Irish literature, and poetry from around the world. In addition to doing research on the above areas, she has written about the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, and would someday love to teach a course on Canadian women writers.

Dave Smit teaches courses in Henry James, modern American and British Drama, and is gearing up to study American lit and culture from 1945 to 1960. His current research is on Ingrid Bergman as a biographical subject and cultural icon.

Kimball Smith's teaching centers on medieval and Renaissance poetry and drama. His current research focuses on the evolving cartographic discourse of the 16th and 17th centuries as seen in the works of Sir Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and Andrew Marvell. In addition his first novel, Nothing Disappears, was published in May 2004, and a second novel, Missing Persons, is due out in early 2006.

Karin Westman specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary British literature, with an emphasis on gender, narrative, and history, as well as women's writing since 1750. She has published on Virginia Woolf, A.S. Byatt, Pat Barker, and J.K. Rowling, and is writing a book on realism and contemporary British women writers, but also enjoys the work of Joyce, Proust, and T.S. Eliot, among others.

Naomi Wood teaches courses in children's literature, fantasy, and Victorian literature and culture. Her current research divides itself between contemporary fantasy by Philip Pullman, David Almond, Diana Wynne Jones, and Ursula LeGuin, and Victorian literature for children. She also loves the work of Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope.