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, reading and reception theory, and intersections among literature, science, and medicine. Dr. Larkin’s published essays can be found in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, The Canadian Review of American Studies, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, and MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States. Her essay on race and reading in the work of poet and novelist Ana Castillo was awarded the inaugural MELUS Best Essay of the Year Award in 2012. Dr. Larkin’s first book, Race and the Literary Encounter: Black Literature from James Weldon Johnson to Percival Everett, was published by Indiana University Press in 2015. This study traces the many strategies developed 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 Reading in the Postgenomic Age and explores how contemporary U.S. and Canadian narratives engage 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), “Principles of Critical Investigation: Reading and Responsibility” (EN 504), and “American Literature in the Genomic Age” (EN 570).