Scholars at Wright


Professor Susan Ryan


Susan Ryan

Department of English
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
tel.: 502-852-2187 or 502-852-6801
fax: 502-852-4182



Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999.

M. A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992.

B.A., English and Spanish, Washington University, St. Louis, 1988.


Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Louisville, 1999 to the present.

Published Articles:

"Charity Begins at Home: Stowe's Antislavery Novels and the Forms of Benevolent Citizenship."

American Literature 72 (2000): 751-83.

"Misgivings: Melville, Race, and the Ambiguities of Benevolence." American Literary History 12

(2000): 685-712.

"Acquiring Minds: Commodified Knowledge and the Positioning of the Reader in McClure's

Magazine, 1893-1903." Prospects: An Annual Journal of American Cultural Studies 22 (1997):


"'Rough Ways and Rough Work': Jacob Riis, Social Reform, and the Rhetoric of Benevolent

Violence." ATQ: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture (formerly American

Transcendental Quarterly) 11 (1997): 191-212. Special issue: "Philanthropy in

Nineteenth-Century America."

"Errand into Africa: Colonization and Nation Building in Sarah J. Hale's Liberia." New England

Quarterly 68 (1995): 558-83. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism,

vol. 75, 325-35. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 1999.

Other Publications:

Review of Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century

Black America (Chicago, 2000). American Literature 73 (2001): 191-92.

"Octavius Brooks Frothingham." American National Biography, ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C.

Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

"Theophilus Brown," "Thomas Cholmondeley," and "Edward Hoar." Biographical Dictionary of

Transcendentalism. Ed. Wesley T. Mott. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996.

"Spirit of the Age." Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism. Ed. Wesley T. Mott. Westport, CT:

Greenwood, 1996.


Under Review:

A book-length manuscript titled "The Grammar of Good Intentions: Race, Nation, and the Culture of Benevolence in the Antebellum United States," under preliminary contract with Cornell University Press.

Fellowships, Grants, and Awards:

WR Program Faculty Instruction Award, University of Louisville, 2001.

MacMillan Dissertation Award, University of North Carolina, 2000.

Project Completion Grant, University of Louisville, 2000.

Senior Teaching Fellowship, University of North Carolina, 1998-1999.

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1997-1998.

Peterson Short-Term Research Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 1997.

Holman Americanist Award, University of North Carolina, 1996-1997.

Annette K. Baxter Travel Award, American Studies Association Conference, 1996 and 1997.

Mellon Foundation Short-Term Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1996.

Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowship, University of North Carolina, Fall 1996.


"Pedagogies of Emancipation: Charlotte Forten’s Civil War." American Studies Association

Conference. Washington, D.C., 2001.

"William Wells Brown and the Racial Politics of Good Intentions." American Literature Association

Conference. Cambridge, MA, 2001.

"Toward a Cultural History of Good Intentions: Benevolence and Sentimentalism in the Antebellum

United States." Seminar Presentation. Back to the Futures: An Institute in American Studies.

Dartmouth College, 2000.

"Defining Benevolent Citizenship: Stowe's Dred and 1850s Proslavery Fiction." American Literature

Association Conference. Long Beach, Calif., 2000.

"The Racial Politics of Charity in New York City, 1863." American Studies Association Conference.

Washington, D.C., 1997.

"Hazardous Exchange: Melville's Confidence-Man and the Ambiguities of Benevolence." American

Literature Association Conference. Baltimore, 1997.

"Saving Them from Ourselves: Cherokee Removal and the Language of White Benevolence."

American Studies Association Conference. Kansas City, 1996.

"Errand into Africa: The Colonist's Transformation in Sarah J. Hale's Liberia." American Studies

Association Conference. Nashville, 1994.

"Speaking from Experience: Authenticity and Reform in Louisa May Alcott's Work." Women's

Studies in the Triangle: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium. University of North Carolina

at Chapel Hill, 1994.

"Home Is Where the Venom Is: The Dissolution of Family in Djuna Barnes' Ryder." Twentieth-

Century Literature Conference. University of Louisville, 1993.

Academic Service:

Search Committee, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, 2000-01 and 2001-02,


Freibert Colloquium Planning Committee, 2000-01 and 2001-02, member.

Overseers Scholars Development Program (OSDP), faculty mentor, Fall 2000-the present.

Member, Twentieth-Century Literature Conference Committee, University of Louisville, 1999-2000.

Panelist, "Opportunities for Research in the History of Print Culture," University of North Carolina,

Nov. 1997.

Conference Coordinator, "Women's Studies in the Triangle: An Interdisciplinary Graduate

Symposium," University of North Carolina, Mar. 1994. Member of the planning committee, 1993.


Modern Language Association

American Literature Section of the MLA

American Studies Association

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