Current project: I am thrilled to have received funding from the NEH program Dialogues on the Experience of War. My project co-director is Andrae Marak, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at GSU. Our project, “War, Trauma, and the Humanities,” is unrolling over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. Chicago regional coverage of the the project includes articles in the Daily Southtown (4/14/17) and the Citizen Suburban Times (9/27/17), and Dennis Sullivan, author of the April story on the project, visited class in November for a follow-up story in the Daily Southtown (11/10/17). The Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters (10/12/17) published an alumna profile of me that focuses on the project, and GSU’s Angela Denk wrote a profile of the student-veteran team for the GSU Newsroom (10/30/17).
I teach upper-division and graduate courses in literature and popular culture at Governors State University, south of Chicago. I joined the faculty in 2006 and achieved the rank of Professor in 2015. For excellence in teaching, research, and service, I received the GSU Faculty Excellence Award in 2015, one of three honorees campus-wide. Between 2001 and 2013 I served five times as co-director and teaching faculty on Michigan State University’s English Department Summer Program in Dublin and the West of Ireland. I have published a book, Contemporary Feminist Historical Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan), and articles on crime fiction, Irish literature, and public scholarship (see “Public Scholarship: Making the Case” in Modern Language Studies). I have been on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Popular Culture since 2008, and I am a former member of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession (2008-11).
My primary research area is crime fiction. Moving into the contemporary period from a foundation in the Anglo-American tradition, my research also includes Irish and Scandinavian crime fiction (particularly Swedish, which I read). I have published multiple articles on Tana French, Gene Kerrigan, and other Irish crime novelists, and I wrote a piece on the feminist worldviews of Swedish women crime writers Camilla Läckberg, Liza Marklund, and Helene Tursten for the the Los Angeles Review of Books. In Contemporary Feminist Historical Crime Fiction, I examined the feminist historiography of several women crime novelists writing in the 1990s, writers who fused historical research, a feminist effect, and carefully-constructed crime plots to teach readers about women’s history. Since then, I have focused more on crime fiction’s contemporary representations of urban spaces and the increasingly complex border between the genre and literary fiction.
My dissertation was on the English novelist and playwright Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962), and I recently published an essay on his 1938 play Gaslight: A Victorian Thriller as the source text for the phenomenon known as gaslighting in the Los Angeles Review of Books: “On the Origins of Gaslighting.” The inter-war period remains one of my teaching and research areas. Recent scholarly activities include organizing an MLA special session, “The Long Week-End: Popular Literature in Inter-War Britain” (2014), publishing an essay, Dorothy L. Sayers and Virginia Woolf: Perspectives on the Woman Intellectual in the late 1930s in the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (2015), and presenting on Edith Meiser’s American radio serial adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories at the American Literature Association Symposium on Criminal America (2017).