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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

ENGL 101 Monsters & Madness
Evil alter-egos, soul-sucking vampires, and detective thrillers—all have their roots in the literature of the nineteenth-century. From Dorian Grey to Dracula and the Hound of the Baskervilles, the sensational literature of the Victorian era sought to stimulate the mind and awaken emotion. This course will examine how monsters, mad scientists, and secret identities rose in the public imagination alongside of a rapidly-changing nation. The nineteenth century saw unprecedented growth of industry and leaps in scientific discovery; new and rapid global communication as well as transport; tenuous relationship of commodities, consumers, and economic stability; as well as changing conceptions of class, gender, and what it meant to be an individual. This course is intended to be an introduction to Victorian literature in a variety of genres, including poetry, the novel, and non-fiction prose by authors such as Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

WRPG 211 Writing in & for Digital Env.
Cross-listed with ENGL 221-01. In this writing intensive course, students will think about the stakes of writing in a range of digital environments—blogs, online forums, and personal collections (Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)—as well as the politics and history of publishing, copyright, and the public domain. This course will challenge and develop students’ writing and critical thinking skills and push them to think about how to convey a thought or point of view through multimodal writing projects. The course will focus heavily on the writing process and how information is presented in the digital age. Students will learn basic proficiency in WordPress and other common online platforms and, over the course of the semester, each student will design, build, and begin regularly posting to her or his own blog. Alongside our work on web writing and composition, we’ll discuss and read about questions such as: How does information circulate? Who owns information? Is there an ethics of the digital age? What does it mean to write in public?

ENGL 221 Writing in & for Digital Env.
Cross-listed with WRPG 211-01. In this writing intensive course, students will think about the stakes of writing in a range of digital environments—blogs, online forums, and personal collections (Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)—as well as the politics and history of publishing, copyright, and the public domain. This course will challenge and develop students’ writing and critical thinking skills and push them to think about how to convey a thought or point of view through multimodal writing projects. The course will focus heavily on the writing process and how information is presented in the digital age. Students will learn basic proficiency in WordPress and other common online platforms and, over the course of the semester, each student will design, build, and begin regularly posting to her or his own blog. Alongside our work on web writing and composition, we’ll discuss and read about questions such as: How does information circulate? Who owns information? Is there an ethics of the digital age? What does it mean to write in public?

ENGL 403 Forms & Contexts of Lit Stud
This class will prepare students for writing a senior thesis. By exploring central questions of literary scholarship and by analyzing the process of framing a scholarly question, we will explore how research has been conceptualized at different periods in history and at different junctures in the evolution of literary studies. Throughout the term, our seminar meetings, workshops, and assignments will be geared toward engaging students with the critical skills, investigative methods, conceptual models, and writing practices that ground—and inspire—literary scholarship, including their own.

Spring 2018

WGSS 301 St in US LGBTQ Hist & Lit
Cross-listed with AMST 301-01 and ENGL 321-03. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) literature and culture in the United States. Co-taught by professors in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and English, the course moves among literary, historical, and theoretical texts to address questions of sex, gender, and sexuality as they shape queer American identities, communities, and cultures. Drawing from queer theory, feminist and queer historicism, and feminist and queer literary analysis, students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and culture. We will pay particular attention to how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference, including race, class, geography, and nationality. Primary readings will be drawn from a range of literary genres and archival sources.

AMST 301 St in US LGBTQ Hist & Lit
Cross-listed with ENGL 321-01 and WGSS 301-03. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) literature and culture in the United States. Co-taught by professors in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and English, the course moves among literary, historical, and theoretical texts to address questions of sex, gender, and sexuality as they shape queer American identities, communities, and cultures. Drawing from queer theory, feminist and queer historicism, and feminist and queer literary analysis, students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and culture. We will pay particular attention to how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference, including race, class, geography, and nationality. Primary readings will be drawn from a range of literary genres and archival sources.

ENGL 321 St in US LGBTQ Hist & Lit
Cross-listed with AMST 301-01 and WGSS 301-03. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) literature and culture in the United States. Co-taught by professors in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and English, the course moves among literary, historical, and theoretical texts to address questions of sex, gender, and sexuality as they shape queer American identities, communities, and cultures. Drawing from queer theory, feminist and queer historicism, and feminist and queer literary analysis, students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and culture. We will pay particular attention to how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference, including race, class, geography, and nationality. Primary readings will be drawn from a range of literary genres and archival sources.

ENGL 404 Senior Thesis Workshop
A workshop requiring students to share discoveries and problems as they produce a lengthy manuscript based on a topic of their own choosing, subject to the approval of the instructor. Prerequisites: 300 and 403.