Lesley Larkin

Lesley LarkinAssociate Professor
M.A. & Ph.D., University of Washington
B.A., Linfield College

Teaching Specialties

  • American Literature from 1865 to the Present
  • African American Literature
  • American Ethnic Literatures
  • Race & Gender Studies
  • Reading & Reception Theory

Lesley Larkin earned a Ph.D. with distinction from the Department of English at the University of Washington in 2007 and taught there and at Seattle Pacific University before joining the NMU faculty in 2008. Her primary area of expertise is American literature (1865-present), with particular emphasis on African American literature, American ethnic literatures, race and gender studies, and reading and reception theory. She has published essays in these areas in journals such as Canadian Review of American Studies, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, and MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States. Dr. Larkin’s first book, Race and the Literary Encounter: Black Literature from James Weldon Johnson to Percival Everett, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press in 2015. This study traces the many strategies employed by twentieth- and twenty-first century black writers to challenge, model, and theorize modes of reading race. Dr. Larkin’s second book, currently in progress, is tentatively titled North American Literature in the Genomic Age and explores how contemporary texts respond to the rearticulations of race, gender, and humanness prompted by genomic research. At NMU, Dr. Larkin teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, American literature, African American literature, gender and literature, and critical theory. Her recent courses include “Women and Reading in Contemporary Fiction” (EN 250), “American Literature V: Postmodern Temporalities” (EN 376), “Major Authors: Toni Morrison” (EN 530), and “Principles of Critical Investigation: Reading and Responsibility” (EN 504).