Mary Balkun, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of Faculty Development
Department of English

I have always believed in being open to new ideas and new paths, and my scholarly and teaching interests reflect this philosophy. My research interests include material culture, gender studies, women's travel narratives, and the construction of identity in literature. I am the author of The American Counterfeit: Authenticity and Identity in American Literature and Culture, as well as articles on Phillis Wheatley, Sarah Kemble Knight, Walt Whitman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner. I am associate editor of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry. I also teach a variety of courses, both undergraduate and graduate, including the University's first-year core course, The Journey of Transformation, Women and Literature II, American Romanticism, Studies in American Literature, and Senior Seminar. I am also interested in the use of technology for teaching and to advance learning. Toward that end I have tried various tools in my classes, including wikis, blogs, and, most recently, Second Life, the online virtual community. I am currently at work on a study of the grotesque in early American literature. I have given numerous presentations on both my scholarship and my pedagogical interests. I am on the editorial board of Transformations, the Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, and a member of several scholarly organizations, including MLA, SEA, and NJCEA.