Alison

I was born in New Haven, CT, but grew up in Pennsylvania, in and around Philadelphia. I was an undergraduate at Temple University, did my Master’s Degree at The University of Pennsylvania, and my doctorate in English Literature at Louisiana State University. I am currently a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Tulane University in New Orleans. My expertise in contemporary American literature and its comparative ethnic perspectives has come from an array of diverse professional experiences that enrich my teaching, give me a broad cultural perspective, and positively influence my students. My forthcoming book, Vigilante Women in Contemporary American Fiction, focuses on female characters who refuse to accept injustice. This project intervenes in the critical understanding of how American law and culture infringe upon the rights of American citizens, even in the current age. I argue that twentieth and twenty-first century accounts of female vigilantes amend male models of vigilantism because they are concerned not with abstract notions of honor and legacy, but with changing the lives of women. The female vigilante allows readers to reconceptualize the identities of modern women by providing an arena to analyze the gap between legally acceptable behavior and morally redeemable behavior in the United States. Women’s vigilante literature especially foregrounds the gendered bias and racialized images endemic to American society, including sexual stereotypes, impossible standards of beauty, and cultural mandates that situate women squarely in the domestic realm. I address all of these topics in my blog. Vigilante heroines act to remedy violence that women experience on a daily basis: domestic violence, restrictive laws, and lack of political recourse, for example. Moreover, the authors upon whom I focus (Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Susan Glaspell, among others) address the concerns of women who face the inflexible attitudes of the American justice system. The heroines created by these authors challenge ingrained social expectations, creating a positive and more inclusive space for law, morality, and civility to flourish. Further, the vigilante characters of these novels model how acts of illegal resistance are representative of the larger movement toward equal rights in American culture, which makes the texts upon which I focus especially relevant and compelling. I have constructed and taught courses for the English department at LSU since 2003, including Major American Authors, Introduction to Fiction, Images of Women, and six sections of college writing. I have earned several teaching awards, including the Caffey prize for teaching composition (LSU 2004). the LSU English Department’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2008), and the LSU Alumni Association Teaching Award (2008). My essays have appeared in various publications including: The Southern Quarterly, The Journal of Florida Literature, and In-between: Essays & Studies in Literary Criticism.


Posts by Alison

Inspired by Ferguson but completely inadequate

MonUTC2014-12-08T20:58:03+00:00UTC12bUTCMon, 08 Dec 2014 20:58:03 +0000 8, 2014 - 8:58 p12

Growing up

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In Defense of *Honey Boo Boo*

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God Still Don’t Like Ugly, by Mary Monroe

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Review of Country Strong, starring Gwyneth Paltrow

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Movie Review: Hanna (2011), directed by Joe Wright

J0000006UTC 27, 2011 - 9:42 p06

Book Review of On Borrowed Wings: A Novel

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Female Vigilantism

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Hello world!

J0000006UTC 27, 2011 - 5:19 p06