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Catherine NickersonAssociate Professor


Research interests: While my teaching interests range through a number of topics within the study of American literature and culture since 1860, my own research has centered on issues of narrative and the representation of mystery, crime, and violence. Those representations are never removed from the construction of ideologies of race, class, region, sexuality, and gender, and my work on detective fiction explores the way in the intricacies of narrative structure serve to express, and sometimes to consciously critique, these complex historical processes.

I have written about women writers of detective fiction between the Civil War and WWII and edited the Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction (forthcoming 2010). I have also edited two collections of writing by major women writers in the late nineteenth century, and have worked as Text Selector, for an NEH funded Project to digitize Transatlantic Genre Fiction by Women, part of the Emory Women Writers Project.

More recently, my work has focused on the history of childhood and family in America. I teach courses in children's literature and on memoirs of immigrant family life, especially ones about Asian American families. I am currently working on a book-length project on representations of adoption in American culture.


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1991