My life has grown from roots in rural, small-town Ohio and a plan to study engineering to maturity in far different realms--large universities, Poland and Russia, African American culture, and the world of the literary imagination. My doctoral training in comparative literature focused on European literature with an emphasis in Russian/French/German relations in the 19th century. Ah, Dostoevsky! But a new passion for African American literature has led me to research and teaching in black women's fiction. Meanwhile, our four children grew and left home for interesting lives, and I directed a church choir and served as cantor for 20 years. My love for teaching Honors courses led in 1993 to my current position as dean of one of the oldest and wisest honors programs, where I have had the privilege of challenging and supporting some of our best minds.
Areas of Interest 19c Russian and comparative European literature, African American women’s fiction
Selected Recent Publications
- “The Aliveness of Things: Nature in Maud Martha.” In Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha: A Critical Collection, ed. Jacqueline Bryant. Chicago: Third World Press, 2002. 69-89.
- With K. E. Curry. “Emma Bovary’s Lost Brother: A Study of Flaubert’s Use of ‘Minor’ Details in the Structure of Madam Bovary.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 25 (1996-97): 92-99.
- “The Sensory Assault of the City in Ann Petry’s The Street.” In The City in African-American Literature. Ed. Y. Hakutani and R. Butler. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1995. 196-211.
- “Hugo’s Gilliatt and Leskov’s Golovan: Two Eccentric Folk-Epic Heroes.” Comparative Literature 46 (1994): 65-83.
- “Sisterhood in Naylor’s Novels.” In Gloria Naylor: Critical Perspectives Past and Present. Ed. H. L. Gates, Jr., and K. A. Appiah. New York: Amistad, 1993. 285-301.
- Test Bank (to accompany Business Communication, 2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan, 1992. 246 pp. and disk version.
- Study Guide (to accompany Business Communication, by D. C. Andrews and W. D. Andrews). New York: Macmillan, 1988. 283 pp. 2nd rev. ed., 1992. 262 pp.
- “Reconstructing Womanhood: Early African-American Women Novelists.: Contemporary Literature 32 (1991): 439-46.