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

Recent Courses

First Year Seminar Reading New York City
Literature Capstone Seminar

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.

Honors and Accomplishments

Nominated for Lincoln Prize, "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave," Broadway Books, 2003

Professional Activities

Advisory Board, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, 2007-09

Lincoln Studies Institute, Knox College, Board of Directors

Abraham Lincoln Association, Board of Directors