Faculty Profile

Sarah Kersh

Assistant Professor of English (2014)

Contact Information

kershs@dickinson.edu

East College Room 404
717.254.8952
http://sarahkersh.com

Bio

Professor Kersh teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture, queer studies, and digital humanities. Her current research focuses on nineteenth-century sonnet sequences and queer temporalities.

Education

  • B.A., Muhlenberg College, 2003
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2010

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

WGSS 101 LGBTQ Lit. in the US
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-08. This course will explore how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference— including race and class—in literature by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) authors, and authors who present LGBTQ characters and themes in their texts. Students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and experience. Our readings will include a rage of literary genres, such as essay, poetry, novel, drama, and film and we will focus on the interpretation of texts particularly through the lens of queer theory. Authors may include, among others: Gloria Anzaldúa, Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Feinberg, Dorothy Allison, and Audre Lorde.

ENGL 101 LGBTQ Lit. in the US
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-04. This course will explore how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference— including race and class—in literature by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) authors, and authors who present LGBTQ characters and themes in their texts. Students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and experience. Our readings will include a rage of literary genres, such as essay, poetry, novel, drama, and film and we will focus on the interpretation of texts particularly through the lens of queer theory. Authors may include, among others: Gloria Anzaldúa, Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Feinberg, Dorothy Allison, and Audre Lorde.

WRPG 211 Writing in & for Digital Env.
Cross-listed with ENGL 212-01. In this course, students will think about the stakes of writing in a range of digital environments—blogs, online forums, personal collections (pinterest, tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc), as well as the politics and history of publishing, copyright, and the public domain. In addition, students will examine archives and the responsibility of “holdings” within a library or other institution. Finally, students will learn the technical skills to create a class website as they consider writing across different environments.

ENGL 212 Writing in & for Digital Env.
Cross-listed with WRPG 211-01. In this course, students will think about the stakes of writing in a range of digital environments—blogs, online forums, personal collections (pinterest, tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc), as well as the politics and history of publishing, copyright, and the public domain. In addition, students will examine archives and the responsibility of “holdings” within a library or other institution. Finally, students will learn the technical skills to create a class website as they consider writing across different environments.

WGSS 301 Victorian Sexualities
Cross-listed with ENGL 360-01. Often the Victorian era (1832-1901) is depicted as a period rigid in its attitudes toward morality, gender, and sexuality. However, nineteenth-century literature saw an array of “dangerous” people inhabit its pages: effeminate men, political women (also known as the New Woman), prostitutes, and hysterics to name a few. Victorians lived during a time of new emphasis on democracy and equality, scrutiny of marriage and property law, and, at times, openness to diversity in gender and sexuality. While our course will pay special attention to changing conceptions of the individual, sexuality, and gender, we also will look at the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, nationality, and other social factors. This course is an upper-level seminar in Victorian literature of many genres—poetry, drama, the novel, and non-fiction prose— by a variety of authors such as Lord Alfred Tennyson, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Meredith, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, Michael Field, and Mona Caird.

ENGL 360 Victorian Sexualities
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-04. Often the Victorian era (1832-1901) is depicted as a period rigid in its attitudes toward morality, gender, and sexuality. However, nineteenth-century literature saw an array of “dangerous” people inhabit its pages: effeminate men, political women (also known as the New Woman), prostitutes, and hysterics to name a few. Victorians lived during a time of new emphasis on democracy and equality, scrutiny of marriage and property law, and, at times, openness to diversity in gender and sexuality. While our course will pay special attention to changing conceptions of the individual, sexuality, and gender, we also will look at the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, nationality, and other social factors. This course is an upper-level seminar in Victorian literature of many genres—poetry, drama, the novel, and non-fiction prose— by a variety of authors such as Lord Alfred Tennyson, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Meredith, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, Michael Field, and Mona Caird.

ENGL 500 Independent Study

Spring 2017

ENGL 220 Intro to Literary Studies
In literary studies, we explore the work texts do in the world. This course examines several texts of different kinds (e.g., novel, poetry, film, comic book, play, etc.) to investigate how literary forms create meanings. It also puts texts in conversation with several of the critical theories and methodologies that shape the discipline of literary study today (e.g., Marxist theory, new historicism, formalism, gender theory, postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, etc.). This course helps students frame interpretive questions and develop their own critical practice. This course is the prerequisite for 300-level work in English.

ENGL 360 The 19th Century Novel
The American writer Henry James notoriously referred to novels of the nineteenth century as “large, loose, baggy monsters.” This course focuses on the genre of the novel to study its form, and its function within the nineteenth-century imagination. Specifically, we will consider the nineteenth-century novel as an attempt to reflect and imagine society as a sprawling network through which individuals move and develop. Our focus will be on serialization and narrative structure as indicative of genre (sensation novel/ detective novel/ marriage plot), and our texts will include works by both British and American and authors. Writers may include, among others, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, and Wilkie Collins, as well as Henry James, James Fennimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and E.D.E.N. Southworth. Prerequisite: 220 or permission of the instructor.