Martha Patterson, Ph.D.

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

Coordinator of Prestigious Fellowships & Scholarships

Office: Carnegie Hall 206

Phone: (618) 537-6881


Ph.D., English, University of Iowa (1996)

M.A., Literary Studies, University of Iowa (1990).

B.A., English, Carleton College, Northfield, MN (1988)

Teaching & Research Interests

Modern American Literature

African American Studies

Women’s Studies

American Periodical History

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Harvard Non-Resident Fellow

African American Intellectual History Society

American Studies Association

Selected Publications

Works in Progress

Monographs:  “The Harlem Renaissance, Weekly: Reimagining the New Negro, 1887-1933.” 

“The New Negro:  A History.”

Anthology: Co-editing second edition of The New Negro:  Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938 with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Gene Andrew Jarrett. 


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

The American New Woman Revisited:  A Reader, 1894-1930. Rutgers University Press, 2008.


“Du Bois and the New Negro.” Little-Known Documents. PMLA.  Accepted for

publication, 2021.

“The Newest New Nativism.”  Los Angeles Review of Books. The Philosophical Salon. September 22, 2019.

“Feminine Monstrosity in the 2016 Presidential Campaign.” Los Angeles Review of Books. The Philosophical Salon. September 25, 2016. Reprinted in The Philosophical Salon: Speculations, Reflections, Interventions.  Edited by Michael Marder and Patricia Vieira, Open Humanities Press, 2017.

“English Professors Aren’t Good for Much.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education. 23 October, 2013.

“Fascist Parody and Wish Fulfillment:  George Schuyler’s Periodical Fiction of the 1930s.”  Journal of Modern Periodical Studies.  September, 2013.

“‘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.

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

“Incorporating the New Woman in Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country.”  Studies in American Fiction,  26.2, Autumn 1998, 213-236.

“Kin' o'rough jestice fer a parson":  Pauline Hopkins and the Politics of Reconstructing History.”  African American Review, 32.3, Fall 1998, 445-460.

“Remaking the Minstrel: Pauline Hopkins’s Peculiar Sam and the Formation of a Post-Reconstruction Black Subject.”  Black Women Playwrights:  Visions on the American Stage, ed. Carol P. Marsh-Lockett.  Garland, 1998, 13-24.


“Review of Cara A. Finnegan’s Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression.” American History Review. June, 2016.

“Beyond Empire:  The New Woman at Home and Abroad.” Review of Holly Pyne Connor’s Off the Pedestal: New Women in the Art of Homer, Chase, and Sargent, Iveta Jusová’s The New Woman and the Empire and Mona L. Russell’s Creating the New Egyptian Woman: Consumerism, Education, and National Identity, 1863-1922. Journal of Women’s History.  21.1 Spring 2009.

"Review of Lisa Botshon and Meredith Goldsmith, eds. Middlebrow Moderns: Popular American Women Writers of the 1920s."  Legacy 21.2, 2004.  


Invited Presentations

“Charles Dana Gibson.” Commemoration Speech for Dedication of a Cultural Medallion at Gibson’s Home. Historical Landmarks Preservation Center, Historic Landmarks Preservation Center, New York City, NY., April 25, 2017.

“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.

Scholarly Conferences—Commented

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

Recent Conference Presentations

“A Fighting Black Press,” Panel Organizer.  “The Evolution of the New Negro,” Presenter. American Studies Association Conference,  San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2021.

“The New Negro in Newspapers.”  American Literature Association, May 23-26, 2019.  Cancelled Due to Covid-19.

“The Harlem Renaissance Weekly,” MELUS, March 21-24, 2019.

“Bootlegging in the Black Press,” Criminal America: Reading, Studying and Teaching American Crime Fiction.  American Literature Association, March 2-4, 2017.

"Harlem Renaissance Detective Fiction as Satire," 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.

Selected Grants & Awards

New York Public Library Short-Term Research Fellowship, 2021.

Hutchins Fellowship at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University, 2020-2021.

NEH Summer Institute, “City of Print:  New York and the Periodical Press,” Summer 2020.

Sabbatical, McKendree University, 2018-2019.

McKendree University Faculty Engagement Grant, 2018.

NEH Summer Institute, “Making Modernism:  Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955.” Summer 2013.

Fulbright Research/Teaching Award to Norway, University of Agder, 2010-2011.

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

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

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

Teagle Summer Research Grant, Spring Hill College, 2003.

Newberry Library Short-Term Fellowship, 2002.

Frederick F. Seely Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship for Teaching and Research, Department of English, University of Iowa, 1995-96.

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Grant in Women’s Studies, 1995.

Frederick P. W. McDowell Dissertation Scholarship for work in American Literature, Department of English, University of Iowa, 1994-95.