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MemberAnna Sagal

I have two ongoing research projects. The first, entitled Resisting Gardens: Pedagogy & Natural History in Eighteenth-Century Women’s Literature, examines a selection of works of literature and art by women that engage with scientific subjects; genres include periodicals, textbooks, paper mosaics (collages), paintings, and conduct of life works. Utilizing the framework of critical plant studies, this project makes the argument for a radical tradition of women’s naturalist labor that challenges prevailing models of human-nature dynamics. I have also begun preliminary research on a second project, Flora Abroad: Eighteenth-Century Women and Colonial Botany. While still in its early conceptual stages, this project traces the intellectual and artistic productions of women who studied the natural world in the Caribbean, America, Canada, and other European colonies.

MemberJen Riley

Jeannette E. Riley currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Professor Riley received her PhD in English in post-1945 American and British Literature and Literary Theory in 1998. Riley’s research interests focus on women’s literature, with an emphasis on contemporary women writers and feminist theory. She has published articles on Eavan Boland, Terry Tempest Williams, Adrienne Rich, and Toni Morrison. Her writings on Adrienne Rich have appeared in ‘Catch if you can your country’s moment’: Recovery and Regeneration in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich; From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born; and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is the author of Understanding Adrienne Rich (2016), from the University of South Carolina’s Understanding Contemporary American Literature series. Riley’s work also includes publications on feminist pedagogy and online/blended teaching and learning. During her career, Riley has taught a range of courses including Post-1945 American Fiction, Contemporary Women Writers, American Poetry, Survey of American Literature since 1865, Critical Methods: Theory & Practice, and Introduction to Literature. In the field of Gender & Women’s Studies, Riley teaches Introduction to Gender & Women’s Studies, as well as courses in feminist theory (American feminist theory; Ecofeminism; 3rd Wave Feminism). Prior to joining the University of Rhode Island, Riley was a Professor of English/Women’s & Gender Studies at UMass Dartmouth (2002-2015). She also served as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences there (2012-2017). While at UMass Dartmouth, Professor Riley was recognized for her work in assessment (Assessment of Student Learning with Technology Leadership Award, May 2005); online teaching and learning (Sloan-C’s Excellence in Online Teaching Awards, 2008), and she served as the Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair (2011-2013).

MemberVenetria Patton

Dr. Venetria K. Patton is Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of English and African American Studies . From 2003-2015, she served as Director of African American Studies and Research Center at Purdue. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of La Verne and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California-Riverside. Dr. Patton’s teaching and research focus on African American and Diasporic Women’s Literature. In 2003, she won two teaching awards: the Annis Chaiken Sorensen Distinguished Teaching Award in the Arts and Humanities and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Patton is the author of The Grasp That Reaches Beyond the Grave: the Ancestral Call in Black Women’s Texts (SUNY, 2014), Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women’s Fiction (SUNY, 2000), the Co-editor of Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (Rutgers, 2001) and editor of Teaching American Literature: Background Readings (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006). Her essays have appeared in Black Studies and Women’s Studies journals as well as the essay collections, Postcolonial Perspectives on Women Writers From Africa, the Caribbean, and the US (Africa World Press, 2003), White Scholars/African American Texts (Rutgers UP, 2005), and Imagining the Black Female Body: Reconciling Image in Print and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). She is also the editor of the fall 2011 issue of Black Women, Gender, and Families and co-editor of the spring 2004 issue of The Black Scholar. Dr. Patton is a former Chair of the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff and is a former board member of the Hanna Community Center and the National Council for Black Studies.