Assistant Professor of English
Director, Southern Studies program
Office location: Neville Hall 209
Office phone: 864.833.8356
BA, History, Davidson College
MA, Southern Studies, University of Mississippi
MA, PhD, American Studies, Emory University
Joined PC in 2008
Courses taught: Southern Women’s Writing, African American Literature, American Identities, Introduction to Southern Studies
By centering my courses around the development of students’ critical thinking and communication skills and by introducing them to challenging ideas or topics that they may not have previously considered in great depth, I work towards inspiring my students to become thoughtful, articulate, curious, responsible, and engaged citizens, a philosophy that I understand to be at the heart of Presbyterian College’s mission. I consistently push undergraduates to strive for excellence, to reject complacency, and to make morally sound, ethical decisions in whatever path they may choose to pursue after college. And in all of my courses, I encourage students to recognize the ways in which a diversity of opinions and identities can enrich our society and world.
I grew up in Spartanburg, SC, where my father worked as a VP and professor of religion at Wofford College for 25 years. My parents instilled in me a love of learning and, more particularly, a love of reading and writing. I really had no choice but to go into academia, and it has turned out to be my ideal professional environment. Growing up in the South led to my interest in Southern Studies [Academic > Academic Departments > Southern Studies] and Southern literature—especially as related to issues of race, class, and gender. Much like Faulkner’s Quentin Compson, I am often conflicted about the South—wanting to celebrate and critique it simultaneously and seeking to question how I have been shaped by its culture and social norms. That personal wrangling has no doubt shaped what I teach. When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my son Benjamin and my husband Daniel, an organic farmer who runs two gardens here in Clinton. (You can check out his farming operation at Parson Produce. Though my free time has dwindled since Benjamin’s arrival in January 2010, I am still a huge music fan, with some favorites being Wilco, Gillian Welch, and Neko Case. I am a movie buff as well, not to mention a committed follower of the television shows Mad Men, Lost, Glee, The Office, and 30 Rock.