Dr. Kristen Egan, assistant professor of English, teaches courses in American Literature, African-American Literature, Literature and the Environment, and writing. She previously taught at Le Moyne College and Loyola University Chicago. She has an interdisciplinary background, earning her doctorate in English from Loyola University Chicago, her M.A. in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland, and a B.S. in Biology from Le Moyne College. She specializes in nineteenth century American literature, focusing on nature, race, and identity. Her dissertation, Infectious Agents: Race and Environment in Nineteenth-Century America, examines the mutual constructions of space and race in America across the long nineteenth century. She has an article forthcoming in Women’s Studies Quarterly entitled “Conservation and Cleanliness: Racial and Environmental Purity in Ellen Richards and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.”
Dr. Sarah Kennedy, professor of English, holds an MFA from Vermont College and a PhD from Purdue University. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently The Gold Thread, and the historical novels The Altarpiece, City of Ladies, and The King’s Sisters, books one, two, and three of the Cross and the Crown series, as well as the stand-alone novel Self-Portrait, with Ghost. Sarah Kennedy has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a contributing editor for Shenandoah and serves as the faculty advisor for MBC’s online literary and arts journal Outrageous Fortune.
Rick Plant, professor of English and current Head of the English Department, holds degrees from Oklahoma State University and Washington University, St. Louis. Prof. Plant’s research interests are in short fiction, modern American fiction, autobiography, and creative writing. He has published short fiction, personal essays, poems, and reviews in a variety of national magazines and anthologies. His national writing awards include an O. Henry Prize for short fiction, a “Novella Breakthrough” award (with publication by Texas Review Press), and a “Notable Essay” designation in the Best American Essays anthology. His manuscript story collection The Misery of Music was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award (University of Georgia Press) and the Spokane Prize in Fiction (Eastern Washington University Press).
Dr. Katherine Turner, professor of English, teaches courses in British Literature and women’s writing, and the English Major Seminar. She previously taught at the University of Oxford in England, where she worked within the university as well for a number of American JYA programs (Butler, NCSU, Sarah Lawrence, Williams).
Dr. Turner holds several degrees (BA, MPhil and PhD) from the University of Oxford. Her main areas of academic interest are the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and she has worked particularly on travel writing, women’s writing, and eighteenth-century poetry. She is interested in the ways in which literary texts intersect with other cultural forms (like the visual arts and journalism) so as to intervene in issues of public controversy such as poverty, women’s education, marriage and divorce, and the slave trade.
Dr. Turner has edited Laurence Sterne’s eighteenth-century novel, A Sentimental Journey, for Broadview Press (a press dedicated to providing annotated texts for university students and scholars). Her essay on “Women Travel Writers, 1750-1830″ has appeared in The History of British Women Writers, 1750-1830, edited by Jacqueline Labbe for Palgrave Macmillan. She has written the entry on “Travel Narrative” for the forthcoming Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789 and an essay on New World snakes & reptiles in a recent collection of essays on travel.