Dr. Shannon Wooden is a gender studies expert and professor of English at Missouri State University, where she teaches British literature, literary theory and narrative medicine.
Long interested in gender studies and feminist theory, Dr. Wooden has previously published on representations of women in film and on strategies for teaching the work of women writers outside of gender-studies frameworks.
After teaching in social medicine departments and participating in a narrative medicine workshop at Columbia University, she has further focused on the intersections between literature and medicine. Two recent articles deal with narrative medicine readings of Dostoevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” and Mark Haddon’s "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," respectively focusing on empathic reading as a worthy goal for literary pedagogy, and, through medical paradigms, one performable with critical rigor.
She has also published on Victorian women’s sensation fiction, the 1990s film adaptations of several Jane Austen novels, Romantic and Victorian abolitionist poetry and representations of gender in the Pixar movies; her most recent book project, with co-author Ken Gillam, analyzes postfeminist boy culture as represented by Disney-Pixar.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (9)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D., English Literature 2001
Missouri State University: M.A., English Literature 1995
Missouri State University: B.A., English Literature 1993
Media Appearances (4)
Updated Barbie Dolls Tackle Body Image with Diversity
Chair of the gender studies program committee at Missouri State University, Shannon Wooden, agrees that the range of choices can be positive for children. Yet, she cautions parents to recognize dolls within the larger context of overall influence...
Narrative medicine: How storytelling relates to healthcare
Missouri State University online
Narrative storytelling and science might seem to have little in common, but according to Dr. Shannon Wooden, associate professor in the English department at Missouri State University, narrative medicine is the result of combining the two fields to improve the healthcare experience...
Professors slam Pixar for sexist portrayal of boys in Disney films
Campus Reform online
English professors Shannon Wooden and Ken Gillam have outlined their concerns in their book, Pixar’s Boy Stories: Masculinity in a Post Modern Age, published in April.
Wooden and Gillam feel there has been a large emphasis on Disney’s sexist and offensive portrayal of princesses, but they didn’t feel boys were receiving adequate public attention for their disservice.
“Somebody had to be the first person to complain about the Disney princesses’ stifling representation of women, right?” said Wooden. “A parallel conversation for boys hasn’t started, but we’re trying to start it ... so people become aware of what they are watching and what their kids are watching.”...
MSU professors reveal Pixar’s hidden messages
Springfield News - Leader
Imagine you’re munching on popcorn with your kids watching the latest animated movie and you’re focused on the spectacular visuals, musical cues and overall entertainment value. According to Shannon Wooden and Ken Gillam, Missouri State professors in the English department, you should be focused on the messages within the films that viewers often overlook...
Couple joins forces to reveal Pixar’s hidden messages
Imagine you’re munching on popcorn with your kids watching the latest animated movie, and you continue to be amazed by the spectacular visuals, musical cues and overall entertainment value. But according to Drs. Shannon Wooden and Ken Gillam, Missouri State professors in the department of English, you should be focused on the messages within the films that viewers often overlook. In fact, the married couple and parents of two has spent the last two years researching those messages held within Pixar films, specifically those involving boys and masculinity.
Using the ecological theories of writing proposed by Marilyn Cooper's “The Ecology of Writing”(1986) and Margaret Syverson's The Wealth of Reality: An Ecology of Composition (1999), this article describes a multi-step assignment sequence designed to engage ...
When I had the opportunity to conduct seminars in literature and medicine with second-year medical students, some of my colleagues in the english department jokingly described my work as “teaching doctors to be human beings.” indeed, it may be easy for humanities ...
Narrative medicine, designed to develop empathic listening skills in healthcare professionals, also helps literature teachers discuss ethics without sacrificing critical rigor. Reading the distasteful narrator of Dostoevsky's challenging story as the notorious “hated ...
Unlike most Disney animated films, which have been criticized for decades for their stereotypical female leads and traditional representations of gender, all the major features released by Disney's Pixar studios since 1990 have featured masculine protagonists. ...