Faculty Profile

Leah Orr

Visiting Assistant Professor of English (2013)

Contact Information

orrl@dickinson.edu

East College 401
717.254.8101

Bio

Leah Orr's research and teaching interests include literature of the long eighteenth century, women writers, the development of the novel, the classical tradition in English, and the history of the book and print culture. Her work has appeared in Studies in Philology, Philological Quarterly, Modern Language Review, and elsewhere.

Education

  • B.A., University of Washington, 2007
  • M.A., Pennsylvania State University, 2009
  • Ph.D., 2013

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

ENGL 220 Crit Approaches & Lit Methods
An introduction to the basic questions that one may ask about a literary text, its author, and its audience. Study of a limited selection of literary texts using several critical approaches. The course will also offer instruction in the elements of critical writing.

ENGL 300 C.A.L.M. Lab
This P/F non-credit research course introduces students to research methodology for advanced literary studies. ENGL 300 is a co-requisite with a student's first 300-level literature course (except ENGL 339).

ENGL 359 Inventing America
This course will focus on works by writers from both sides of the Atlantic to examine the ways in which they used literature to grapple with the changing relationship between Britain and America and the formation of a new type of nation. We will also examine literature that explores problematic issues such as slavery, relations between colonists and native Americans, and the role of women in the new society. Authors studied may include Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occam, Charles Brockden Brown, and James Fenimore Cooper.

Spring 2015

ENGL 101 Jane Austen and Her World
In this course we will explore the literature, life, and times of Jane Austen. Our focal point will be her novels, but we will also read selections from her letters and literature from her contemporaries in the early nineteenth century. We will look at how her reputation has changed over time and the ways her works have been interpreted, continued, and reimagined in scholarship, literature, and film.

WRPG 211 Writing about the Past/Future
Cross-listed with ENGL 212-04. How do we imagine the future? How does our perspective in the present impact how we see the past? In this course, students will study different ways to write about the past and the future. Readings will include examples of historical and futuristic writing as well as alternate history and speculative fiction (sci-fi). Students will have the opportunity to write in a variety of formats, including memoirs, proposals, and interpretive essays.

ENGL 212 Writing about the Past/Future
Cross-listed with WRPG 211-04. How do we imagine the future? How does our perspective in the present impact how we see the past? In this course, students will study different ways to write about the past and the future. Readings will include examples of historical and futuristic writing as well as alternate history and speculative fiction (sci-fi). Students will have the opportunity to write in a variety of formats, including memoirs, proposals, and interpretive essays.

ENGL 339 The Gothic, 1764-1824
This course may count as either a pre-1800 or post-1800 300-level literature class, depending on the student's research. Those students who wish to earn pre-1800 credit must inform me before add/drop is over, and I will inform the Registrar and supplement and guide research accordingly. Students must satisfactorily complete the final research paper as a pre-1800 course to receive pre-1800 credit. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a new genre of fiction emerged called the Gothic that used elements like haunted castles, ancient manuscripts, secret histories, and mysterious portraits to expose the limits of power, fear, love, and death. In this course, we will read a variety of Gothic novels in order to understand the origins of the form and the ways that writers used fiction to explore questions of religion, social order, and the human psyche. This class will also consider the role of the Gothic genre in the eighteenth century as both a popular and a subversive literary movement. Authors may include Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, and James Hogg.