English 313: American Literature

Excerpt from Here, Richard McGuire. Image from The New York Times.

Themed “House, Home, and Nation,” this course surveys American literature from the eighteenth century to the present. I ask students to work through such questions as what constitutes a home; how the space of a house operates in literature; how families are defined and depicted; and what it means to be “home” in America, or even “at home” in our own bodies. Further, we consider the ways “domestic” denotes both home and nation. Asking such questions guides us to a better understanding of how discourses such as domesticity, feminism, immigration, race, and class operate in American literature.

English 250 / Women’s Studies 255


Themed “The Bachelorette in American Culture,” this course surveys American women writers through the lens of the pervasive “bachelorette” figure in American culture. What is a “bachelorette” and how does she behave? In what forms does American culture tell the story of a bachelorette? Which narratives of courtship, romance, love, and sexuality are celebrated in American culture, and which are not? How have American women writers come to challenge dominant narratives of the bachelorette, or in other words, how have these stories been rewritten? We read a variety of novels, short stories, poems, and essays as we attempt to answer these questions and others. Beginning in the post-revolutionary era and working our way to contemporary depictions of the bachelorette, we make connections across historical eras in order to develop a better understanding of our own contemporary moment.

Other courses taught include surveys of American literature pre- and post-1865, as well as Introduction to Academic Writing.

My teaching has been recognized with an Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching Award and by my appointment as the English Department’s Teaching Resource Coordinator. In this role, I mentored new graduate student instructors from syllabus construction through end-of-term grading. Additionally, I organized department-wide events and workshops on pedagogy, classroom safety, and course design.