Laura E. K. Von Wallmenich, Ph.D.
Chair & Assistant Professor of English
Joined Alma College Faculty in 2001
Swanson Academic Center 338
Office Hours: (Winter 07) MW 1:30-2:30, TTH 1 - 2:30
My primary training is in early American literature, colonial through the late nineteeth-century. Unlike contemporary literature, early American literature was a central part of colonial and early national culture; in my teaching and research, I am very interested in the role literature played in shaping American cultural identities.
I also have interests in:
--African-American and Native-American literature particularly in the role of literature in defining the 'voice' of marginalized communities
--Composition, particularly in the structure of academic arguments (learning how to write using the expectations of readers as your guide)
--Interdisciplinary research and writing, especially American cultural studies. My own work is highly interdisciplinary, involving materials from the fields of geography, history, philosophy, political science,cultural anthropology, sociology, and of course, literature.
- Ph.D., University of Washington (2000)
- M.A., University of Washington
- B.A., Colby College
Puritan captivity narratives, early national fiction, geography and identity in the early nation, representations of Native Americans in Anglo-American writing. Specific writers include: Mary Rowlandson, Charles Brockden Brown, Catherine Maria Sedgewick, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, and Joaquin Miller.
Recent Courses Taught
- College Rhetoric. ENG 101.
- Lit Analysis: Postmodern Fairy Tales. ENG 120.
- Transatlantic 18th Century. ENG 360.
- Survey of American Literature. ENG 260.
- Reading, Writing, Research. ENG 220.
Directed Student Presentations and Achievements
- Emily Havelka, Honor's Day Presentation
- Molly Henning, Honor's Thesis and Presentation
- Faina Polt, Honor's Thesis
- Kristin Haight, Honors Thesis
- Faina Polt, Honor's Day Presentation
- Katelyn Moy, AMS 301
- See More...
- Laura E. K. Von Wallmenich, Ph.D. (with Catherine Fobes). Review of Our Social World, by Jeanne Ballentine and Keith Roberts. Teaching Sociology. forthcoming t.b.d..
- "The American Clarissa: Rethinking the Problem of Virtuous Violence in Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond." Michigan Early Americanists. Michigan State University. June 2.
- "Clarissa and Lovelace in America: Brown's Ormond and the Revision of Richarsonian Virtue." Wierd America: 7th Biennial Conference of the Charles Brockden Brown Society. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. October 21-23.
- "Inventing Anne Bradstreet: Teaching Critical Thinking in a Survey Course." American Literature Association. San Francisco. May 24, 2008.
- "Darksome Geographies: Edgar Huntly and the Mapping of early National Identities." Michigan Early Americanists. Lansing. June 1.
- "Men and the Mountain: Joaquin Miller's Life Amongst the Modocs." Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Eugene, OR. June 21-26, 2005.
- "'A Wilderness of Affliction': The Social Geography of Mary Rowlandson's Captivity." Great Lakes American Studies Association. Indianapolis, IN. March 19.
Awards, Honors, Recognitions
- Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
- Society of Early Americanists
- Charles Brockden Brown Society
- American Studies Association
- Association for the Study of Literature and Environment