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Mara Scanlon - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Mara Scanlon

Professor of English | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Professor of English, Department of English, Linguistics and Communication



Mara Scanlon Publication



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Mara Scanlon, Professor of English, received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Her teaching and research interests include poetry and poetics, Modernism, women’s literature, ethics and literature, Asian American literature, and digital humanities.

Dr. Scanlon is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and winner of UMW’s 2014 Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Digital Humanities

Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory

Twentieth-Century Literature

Asian American Studies

Bakhtinian theory



Ethics and Literature

Accomplishments (2)

Scanlon Publishes Essay on Modernist Writer Rebecca West (professional)


Mara Scanlon's essay "Gender Identity and Promiscuous Identification: Reading (in) Rebecca West's The Return of the Soldier" was recently published in The Journal of Modern Literature. The article focuses on the frequently overlooked narrator of West's novel, set on the home front in the First World War.

UMW’s 2014 Grellet C. Simpson Award (professional)


Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Education (3)

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Ph.D., English 1998

University of Wisconsin-Madison: M.A., English 1992

University of Virginia: B.A., English 1991

Affiliations (6)

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Emily Dickinson International Society
  • H. D. International Society
  • Modernist Studies Association
  • Northeast Modern Language Association
  • Modern Language Association

Media Appearances (3)

Beyond the Book-Whitmaniacs

With Good Reason  online


Mara Scanlon took her class of self-proclaimed “Whitmaniacs” to the Walt Whitman house in Camden, New Jersey. She says her students were awestruck by being in the intimate spaces where Whitman lived and breathed… including his bathroom.

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UMW professors find creative ways to teach through COVID-19

Fredericksburg Today  online


Teaching at Mary Washington looks a bit different lately.

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Professors Featured on Radio Program

University of Mary Washington News  online


University of Mary Washington Professors Mara Scanlon and Mindy Erchull were featured on episodes of the With Good Reason public radio program. During Professor of English Mara Scanlon’s encore interview, broadcast June 27 to July 3, 2015, she discussed Walt Whitman and his time as a nurse during the Civil War in a show titled “America the Beautiful.”...

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Courses (3)

206 – Global Issues in Literature (3)

An introductory course exploring multiple perspectives on a selected global theme or issue as expressed in literature. Attending to the pleasures of literature, the role of the reader, the language of the text, and the social context of literature, the course includes both historical and contemporary texts in traditional and non-traditional forms. It explores the contact zone between Anglo-European perspectives and disparate world cultures outside Western Europe and North America.

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251 – Issues in Literature (3)

Significant literary figures, movements, and topics. Specific topics vary.

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457 – Studies in American Literature, 1900–Present (3)

Significant figures, movements, themes, or problems in American literature of the 20th century. Consult Schedule of Courses for specific topics.

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Articles (4)

Ethics and the Lyric: Form, Dialogue, Answerability

College Literature

2007 ABSTRACT: The purpose of this essay is double—to counter Mikhail Bakhtin's contention that all poetry is necessarily monologic and therefore unethical (and, in doing so, to challenge also common assumptions about the lyric that presume a singular, personal, unified voice) and ...

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Mother land, mother tongue: Reconfiguring relationship in Suleri's meatless days

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory

2001 Sara Suleri's Meatless Days—a collection of meditative autobiographical tales or essays gathered into a memoir—is the chronicle of an Asian American woman's coming to terms with Pakistan, the politically turbulent nation of her birth and young adulthood, from the ...

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Main content area "In the Mouths of the Tribe": Omeros and the Heteroglossic Nation

Bucknell Review

2000 The morning after the 1996 Academy Award Presentation show, Claudia Cohen, entertainment reporter for Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, as asked to explain why Braveheart won the Oscar for Best Picture...

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The Divine Body in Grace Nichols's "The Fat Black Woman's Poems"

World Literature Today

1998 The Guyanese-born poet Grace Nichols is among a growing network of Afra-Caribbean writers who articulate their unique heritage of double colonization as women in a post-colonial community...

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