Experts in: Women's Studies
- Literature of the Americas
- Literature of the African diaspora
- Twentieth century US literature
- Twenty-First century US literature
- Women's Studies
- Critical race theory
- Aesthetics and visual culture
- Teaching across the disciplines
Caroline A. Brown, Associate Professor of English, is an alumna of Vassar College (BA) and Stanford University (MA/PhD). She specializes in 20th-century US literature and culture, women's studies, and the literature of the African Diaspora. Professor Brown is the author of The Black Female Body in American Literature and Art: Performing Identity (Routledge, 2012), which examines how African-American writers and visual artists interweave icon and inscription in order to (re)envision the black female body, traditionally rendered alien and inarticulate within Western discursive and visual systems. Analyzing how the works of contemporary African-American women novelists intersect with those of postmodern visual artists, The Black Female Body maps how black aesthetic and performative practices reimagine American citizenship and national belonging.
Professor Brown is currently at work on two projects. Dark Eros: Madness, Mayhem, and Cultural Mourning in Women's Novels of the Black Diaspora is a book-length project analyzing black women's experimental writing strategies as the crossroads where aesthetic praxis morphs into political engagement. Barack Obama: A Cultural Study explores Barack Obama as the template on which she graphs the intersections of race, demographic shift, and presidential politics. In doing so, she interrogates both the influence of popular culture on political transformation and the impact, in turn, of politics on cultural production.
- 18th Century Literature
- Women's Writing
- History of medicine
- Literature and Medicine
- Women's Studies
- Gender studies
Heather Meek’s research interests include women’s writing, medical treatises, and the intersections of literature and medicine. Much of her published work looks at the subject of eighteenth-century hysteria by examining contemporaneous medical texts and first-hand accounts by women writers who themselves suffered from the condition. She has written on the ways that hysteria is at once a veritable illness, an elusive cultural condition, an intellectual affliction, and a vehicle for feminist thought. Her current project, funded by a SSHRC Insight grant (2019-2023), explores the medical knowledge of a group of eighteenth-century women writers and considers medical and literary understandings of conditions ranging from melancholy, hysteria, and madness; to chlorosis, pregnancy, and childhood illness; to smallpox, consumption, and breast cancer.