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Ph.D., Columbia University (1988)
B.A., Williams College (1977)

Recent Courses

Art & Craft Of Writing
Literature In English II
Literature In English III
Reading Race

Personal Statement

I hope my students leave my courses loving some of the literature they've read and with a thirst to read more on their own. Beyond that, I hope the skills they develop--the ability to read closely, with an attention to detail; the ability to think deeply about the works; and the ability to speak and write logically, clearly, and with imagination about what they've read--are those they will carry with them throughout their lives.

Teaching Specializations/Interests

British and American literature; race and slavery; women's literature.

Research Interests

American slavery, biography, historical fiction.

Grants/Sponsored Research

Faculty Development Grant, Adelphi University, 2005-06

American Antiquarian Society, 2005 Creative and Performing Artists and Writers Fellowship, Alternate

Faculty Research Awards, Univ. at Albany, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1990, 1987

Nuala McGann Drescher Award, United University Professors, 1994-95

Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, Afro-American Studies, Harvard University, 1993-94

Lane Cooper Dissertation Fellowship, Columbia University, l985 86

President's Fellowships, Columbia University, l980 81 and l981 82


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(2015). A History of Adelphi University. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Ed. (2010). Harriet Jacobs's "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl". Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's Press.

(2006). Nobody's Boy. MO: University of Missouri Press.

(2003). Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave. New York: Broadway Books.

(1996). Mastering Slavery: Memory, Family, and Identity in Women's Slave Narratives. New York, NY: NYU.

with Susan Weisser, ed. (1994). Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds. Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Artistic/Creative Work

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"Commentator". Documentary film on Elizabeth Keckly, New Millenium Studios, Petersburg, VA. June 2014.

"Panelist". "The 100th Anniversary of WWI," EXPLORING CRITICAL ISSUES SERIES, Telecare TV. May 2014.

"NPR Podcast Interview". http://civilwartours.tumblr.com/post/60023729937. September 2013.

"Q & A session". Arena Stage Theatre performance of Mary L. and Lizzy K. Washington, D.C.. March 2013.

""Rescuing Stories"". Blog, Potomac Review: A Journal of Arts and Humanities. February 2013.

""What's in a Name: Making Lizzy K."". Arena Stage Blog: Stage Banter. February 2013.

"Guest interview". KPSI Palm Springs Radio Station. December 2012.

"Commentator". PBS documentary film, "Lincoln.". January 2005.

"Guest Interview". MNN Access Television. March 2004.

"Guest interview". Radioscope. May 2003.

"Guest Interview". "Teacher as Historian," WNYE-FM. May 2003.

"Commentator". History Channel, "History's Lost and Found: Mary Lincoln Letters.". March 2000.

"Speaker and Panelist". C-Span broadcast of The Lincoln Forum, Sixth Annual Ford's Theatre Symposium. Washington, D.C.. September 1999.

"Guest interview". Urban Radio Network, THE BEV SMITH SHOW. April 1999.

"Commentator". PBS documentary film on author Barbara Kingsolver. January 1998.

Book Chapters

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(2009). "On Lincoln's Letter to His Wife". In Harold Holzer and Joshua Wolf Shenk (Eds.). In Lincoln's Hand. With Commentary by Distinguished Americans. NY, NY: Random House.

(2004). Charles Chesnutt. Encyclopedia of the Midwest.

(2004). Elizabeth Keckly. African American Lives. Oxford University Press.

(2004). "'When Bridget or Dinah Takes to Writing Books Instead': Reaction to Elizabeth Keckley's BEHIND THE SCENES". In Joanne Braxton (Eds.). "Monuments of the Black Atlantic: History, Memory and Politics. Oxford University Press.

(2003). "Reshaping the Marriage: Mary Lincoln and Post-Assassination Memory". In Charles Hubbard (Eds.). Reshaping the Presidency: Lincoln's Legacy. Mercer University Press.

(1999). In Roy Brooks (Eds.). When Sorry Isn't Enough: The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustices. NYU Press.

(1994). "Introduction" and "Mothers and Sisters: The Family Romances of Antislavery Women Writers". In Susan Weisser and Jennifer Fleischner (Eds.). Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds. Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood.

Refereed Articles

(1994, Winter), "Memory, Sickness, and Slavery: One Slave Girl's Story". American Imago: Special Issue on Women, 51:4.

(1991, Spring), "Hawthorne and the Politics of Slavery". Studies in the Novel Special Number: Hawthorne in the Nineties, 23:1.

(1988, Fall), Female Eroticism, Confession, and Interpretation in Nathaniel Hawthorne". Nineteenth-Century Literature, 44:4.

(1982), "Class, Character, and Landscape in Old Mortality". Scottish Literary Journal, 9:2.

Invited Presentation/Lecture

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Panel Discussion (2016, February). The Life and Times of Mrs. Keckly. Randolph Macon College, Department of History Film Series, Ashland, VA.

(2016, February). Harriet Jacobs, Property, and Slavery. Randolph Macon College, Department of History Speakers Series, Ashland, VA.

(2014, September). "Adelphi During WWI". World War One at 100: A Symposium.

(2013, March). Q & A: Mary L. and Lizzy K. Arena State Theatre, Washington, D.C..

(2011, April). Elizabeth Heyrick: Quaker Abolitionist. Adelphi University Works-in-Progress Series.

(2009, October). Mary Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckly. Newberry Library, Chicago.

(2008, October). "Gender, Fraternity, and Masculinity in Lincoln's and Davis's America". The Filson Club 3rd Academic Conference.

(2008, July). Race and Place: African Americans in Washington from 1800-1954. Decatur House, Washington, D.C..

(2008, July). Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Library of America, NEH Teachers' Workshop, Brooklyn.

(2008, April). Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly. North Hempstead Country Club.

(2004, March). Women Writing Women's Lives. CUNY Graduate Center.

(2003, October). Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly. New School University, co-sponsored by the Committee for History and Writing Program, New York.

(2003, September). Roundtable Speaker, "Twenty-first Century Working Women Writing on Nineteenth-Century Women Writing Work". Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Fort Worth, TX.

(2003, June). Panelist, discussion of "The Bondswoman's Narrative.". Southern Women's Conference, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

(2001, November). "Sacred History vs. Sacred Memory: Rewriting the Past". Lewis Miller Lecture Series, Northern Virginia Community College.

(2001, September). Elizabeth Keckly: 'Colored Historian' and Lincoln Memory. African American Intellectual Culture Lecture Series, Higgins School of Humanities, Clark University, Worcester, MA.

(2001, April). "Reshaping the Lincoln Marriage: Keckly, Herndon, andL 'The Secret Mary Lincoln,''. The Lincoln Symposium at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, TN.

(2001, April). The Problems of Biography: Mary Lincoln. The HIstory of Psychiatry Group, New York City.

(2000, May). "Reading the Reaction to Elizabeth Keckly's BEHIND THE SCENES". Monuments of the Black Atlantic: History, Memory, and Politics, Williamsburg, VA.

(1999, August). "Elizabeth Keckly and the Lincolns" Panel Discussion. THe Lincoln Forum, Sixth Annual Ford's Theatre Second Symposium, Washington, D.C..

(1999, March). Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, and Elizabeth Keckly". The Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C..

(1999, February). 'When Bridget or Dinah Takes to Writing Books Instead. CCNY American Studies Lecture Series.

(1996, December). "Maternal Dynamics and Mixed-Race Identity in Harriet Jacobs and Kate Drumgoold". Forum on Psychoanalysis and Race, MLA Division for Psychology and Literature, MLA.

(1996, January). "Psychoanalysis and Slavery". Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society Annual Conference.

(1996, January). On Freud's 'Screen Memories'. SUNYAlbany Humanities Seminar, Albany, NY.

(1995, October). "Obituaries in Black and White". The Persistence of Memory, Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

(1995, January). Writing and Identity in Autobiography. Diversity Lecture Series, SUNY Albany.

(1995, January). Representing the Slave's Suffering. Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University.

(1994, December). "Masochism in Women's Slave Narratives". MLA Conference.

(1993, May). Narrating a Life After Slavery. Grand Rounds, Harlem Hospital, N.Y..

(1992, April). Hawthorne and the Question of Women. Babcock Lecture, Hartwick College.

(1991, January). Bonds of Motherhood in Women's Slave Narratives. Humanities Institute, SUNY Albany.

(1988, March). The Works of Angela Carter. The New York State Writers Institute Lecture Series at the NEw York State Museum, Albany, NY.

(1988, February). Desire and Repression in Hawthorne's Novels. Humanities Institute, SUNY Albany.

Other Scholarly/Artistic Work

Selected Talks/Readings: Mt. Bethel Baptist Church, Hillsborough, NC; Library of Congress; Smithsonian institute; New York State Writers Institute; North Shore Civil War Roundtable; Fords Theatre; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library; 92nd St. Y, etc

Honors and Accomplishments


MASTERING SLAVERY: MEMORY, FAMILY, AND IDENTITY IN WOMEN'S SLAVE NARRATIVES, listed in "Lingua Franca" (March 1998) in its "Breakthrough Books" column.

Selected reviews of books: Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, The Washington Post, Civil War Book Review, Baker Books.net, Bookreporter.com, The Washington Times, The Richmond Times Dispatch, North and South, Virginia Magazine of HIstory and Society, Black Issues Book Review, Lincoln Forum, H-Net Book Reviews, Choice, Journal of American History, Amsterdam News, Carib News, Psychoanalytic Books, Studies in American Fiction, American Literature, Clio, Georgia Historical Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, JASAT NWSA Journal, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Charleston Chronicle, Journal of Southern HIstory.

Professional Activities

Advisory Board, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, 2007-09

Board of Directors, Lincoln Studies Institute, Knox College, 2004-08.

Selection Committee for ACLS Fellowship Programs, 2003-04 and 2004-05.

Board of Directors, Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic, 2000-04.

Book reviewer for Journal of HIstory of Sexuality, American Literature, Annals of Scholarship, American Studies International, Georgia Historical Review, Journal of American History, Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine Bulletin, Legacy.

Manuscript Reviewer for NYU Press, Oxford University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, University of California press, University of Florida Press, Duke University Press.