I hold a Ph.D. in English literature with specialization in Victorian fiction and emphasis on gender/sexuality studies. I reside in New England where I teach a variety of traditional, hybrid, and online courses.
Growing up in a trailer park in New England to literacy-challenged parents sparked in me a passion for learning and a desire to cultivate accessible instruction strategies suitable especially for disadvantaged, adult, and low-income learners. My parents encouraged in me a strong love of philosophical inquiry and a deep respect for the acquisition of knowledge through experience. When I decided on a career as a teacher at university I did so because I believe that academia fosters the kind of learning that sprouts at the crossroads of personal history, literary exploration, metaphysical reflection, and everyday experience.
During the early years of school my literary endeavors were a source of shame. I never understood the shame that I felt until I finished my Master’s thesis. I couldn’t wait to show my father the bound copy of it and will never forget the sharp embarrassment and disappointment that I felt watching his excited expression disintegrate to confusion as he tried to read the first page of it. I snatched it away. I actually threw it in the trash. I felt angry at myself for giving him something to read — some token of my accomplishments — that was so inaccessible. I was ashamed to take pride in a thing that blatantly separated me from my physical history.
In my teaching I have striven to bridge the gap between history and writing by encouraging students to explore literary avenues informed by the topics with the most bearing on their lives. I want to be a teacher who can speak to students plainly about the complex fabric of Western culture in a way that sutures national contexts with personal history. I want to be a researcher and academic author who reads contemporaneous hot topics into literary history in fascinating ways that help modern readers understand the politics of selfhood. I want to be a creative writer who takes risks in exploring the boundaries of conscious experience.
Most importantly, I would like to be someone who can speak proudly and with conviction about her profession.