Dr. Martha Patterson

Photo of Martha Patterson, Ph.D.Professor of English

Office: Carnegie Hall 206

Phone: (618) 537-6881


Ph.D., English, University of Iowa, May 1996.

M.A., Literary Studies, University of Iowa, August 1990.

B.A., English, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, June 1988. Earned distinction for English comprehensive integrative exercise and in the English major.

Teaching & Research Interests

American late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century studies, women’s studies, African American literature and culture, and composition.

Academic Positions

Fulbright Lecturer/Scholar, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, 2010-2011.

Associate Professor, English Department, McKendree University (formally McKendree College), 2006 to present.

Assistant Professor, English Department, McKendree College, 2004-2006.

Assistant Professor, English Department, Spring Hill College, 2000-2004.

Lecturer, English Department, University of Michigan, 1998-2000.

Recent Publications

Work in Progress

Book Project: The Harlem Renaissance Weekly. A study of major themes in Harlem Renaissance literature through the lens of four African American weekly newspapers.


Beyond the Gibson Girl: Reimagining the American New Woman, 1895-1915. University of Illinois Press, 2005. Paperback version released 2008.

Gale Group Reprint of “Sui Sin Far & the Wisdom of the New.” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 232. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2010. 229-338.

Gale Group Reprint of “Mary Johnston, Ellen Glasgow and the Evolutionary Logic of Progressive Reform.” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 266. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2012. 1-124.

The American New Woman Revisited: A Reader, 1894-1930. Rutgers University Press,



“Fascist Parody and Wish Fulfillment: George Schuyler’s Periodical Fiction of the 1930s.” Journal of Modern Periodical Studies. 4.1, July 1913.

“What is Africa to George Schuyler?” Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences: Essays in Honour of Peter Young. Ed. Jan Erik Mustad and Ulla Rahbek. Novus Press, Oslo, 2011.

“’Chocolate Baby, a Story of Ambition, Deception, and Success’: Refiguring the New Negro Woman in the Pittsburgh Courier.” The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film, 1890s-1930s, eds. Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco. University of Michigan Press, February 2011.

“My Little Professor.” 28 March, 2008, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Struggling to Keep Up: When It Comes to Many Digital Archives, Scholars at Small-Sized Institutions are the Have Nots.” Nov. 9, 2007, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Invited Presentations

“Feminism, Fascism and the New Negro Woman.” SUNY-Buffalo, New Woman International Conference, Sept. 15-17, 2011.

"The American Experience in Narrative Literature." Seminar for High School Teachers, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, March 30, 2011.

Invited Lecture. “American Studies Post 9-11.” 4th Annual Austrian Young Americanists Graduate Student Workshop. “American Studies in Europe Post-9/11: Is it All Different Now?” University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. October 8-10, 2010.

Invited Lecture. Recent Initiatives to Make U.S. High Schools, Colleges and Universities More Competitive. “Instituttseminar for Institutt for Fremmedspråk og Oversetting,” University of Agder, Hotel Norge, Kristiansand, September 8, 2010.

Invited Lecture, “American New Woman, 1895-1930.” Southwestern Illinois College, March 2006.

Scholarly Conferences - Commented

"The New Woman in the Rural Community and Beyond.” Annual Meeting 2013, Agricultural History Society, June, 2013.

Recent Conference Presentations

Presented "Harlem Renaissance Detective Fiction as Satire" to the Authenticity Project, a Symposium, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, November 4-5, 2010.

"The Cat Man of Manhattan: Satire, Pulp Fiction, and the Harlem Renaissance"

ASANOR/NACS, Norway and English Philology Department, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Joint Conference Kaunas, September 23 – 26, 2010

“Cultures, Identities, and Languages in North-American Contexts.”

“Claiming Urban Space and Citizenship: The Underground Railroad, East St. Louis and Skid Row, LA.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington D. C., November 2009.

“Newspaper Novels of the Harlem Renaissance.” Modernist Studies Association, Memphis, November 2008.

"The Forgotten Debate: Prohibition in New York's Black Press, 1915-33." Modern Language Association Convention. Chicago, December 2007.

“Intoxicating Space: Rereading the Harlem Renaissance.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C., November 2005.

"All you Sweet girls,/ Listen here to me/Gin an' whiskey/Kin make you lose yo' ginity'": Nella Larsen and the Temperance Politics of the New Negro Woman.” American Literature Association. San Francisco, May 2004.

"Selling the American New Woman as Gibson Girl, 1895-1913." Invited Lecture. University of South Alabama Gender Studies Lecture Series, University of South Alabama. Mobile, February 2002.


“Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955.” National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for college and university faculty, summer 2013.

Fulbright Research/Teaching Award to Norway, University of Agder, 2010.

Teagle Summer Research Grant, Spring Hill College, 2003.

Newberry Library Short-Term Fellowship, 2002.

Interdisciplinary Partnership Grant, Spring Hill College, 2001.

Mitchell Faculty Scholarship Grant, Spring Hill College, 2001.


American Studies Community Partnership Grant, “Illinoistown: A Cultural History of East St. Louis,” 2008-2009. http://www.illinoistowneaststlouis.org/

Illinois Arts Council Grant Recipient, Charles Pace as Malcolm X Performance, Spring 2007

Illinois Arts Council Grant Recipient, Kevin Radaker as Henry David Thoreau Performance, 2005.

Alabama Humanities Foundation Small Grant Co-Award Recipient, Women's Studies Lecture, Ntozake Shange, 2004.

Teagle Summer Research Grant, Spring Hill College, 2003.

Interdisciplinary Partnership Grant, Spring Hill College, 2001.

Mitchell Faculty Scholarship Grant, Spring Hill College, 2001.

Administrative and Professional Service

Program Review, Chair, 2010-2011.

Assessment Committee representative, 2008 to 2009.

Reviewer for the Tulsa Journal of Women’s Literature, 2008 to present.

Writing Proficiency Exam Coordinator, Spring 2008.

Honors Program Director, Spring 2008.

Literary Interest Society faculty sponsor, 2007-present.

Budget, Salary & Fringe Benefits Committee, 2007-present.

Honors Council representative, 2006-2009.

Reviewer for Prentice Hall, Fall 2006 to present.

Interdisciplinary Faculty Colloquium co-founder, 2005-2006.

Reviewer for the The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, 2005 to present.

Co-Director of the Women's Studies Program, Spring Hill College, 2002-2004.

English Club Advisor, Spring Hill College, 2002-2004.

Professional Memberships

American Studies Association

Modern Language Association