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Seton Hill University


A Leading Catholic, Liberal Arts University

Laura Patterson Ph.D.

Professor of English

Laura Patterson Ph.D.
Joined Seton Hill
Raleigh, NC
Contact Info

Laura Sloan Patterson received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Vanderbilt University with areas of specialization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, southern literature, women's literature, and feminist theory. Her research interests include southern women's literature, domesticity, material culture, composition pedagogy, and the use of technology in the classroom.


  • Ph.D., Department of English, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), 2001
  • M.A., Department of English, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), 1997
  • B.A., Magna Cum Laude in English Literature, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), 1996


  • “Speed Dating an iPad Until the Break of Dawn: Creative Techno-feminist Pedagogy for Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn.” Yin and Yang in the English Classroom. Ed. Sandra Eckard. R&L Education: Lanham, Maryland. [Forthcoming in August 2015.]
  • “‘You have even been to lady school’: Pierre Bourdieu, Lee Smith, and New Gender Theory for Southern Literature.” Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures 66.1 (Winter 2013): 3-29.
  • Review of Desire and the Divine: Feminine Identity in White Southern Women's Writing, by Kathaleen Amende. The Journal of Southern Religion. 15 (2013). Web. [More Information]
  • “‘The Thing They Knew’: Social Exclusion at Southern Wakes in Eudora Welty’s ‘The Wanderers’ and The Optimist’s Daughter.” Women and the Material Culture of Death. Eds. Elizabeth Tobin and Maureen Goggin. Ashgate: Farnham, UK, 2013. [More Information]
  • "Appalachian Lipstick" The Written Wardrobe. 2nd ed. Modcloth, 2012. Web. [More Information]
  • "Fashion, Out of the Closet." Observer Column. The Chronicle Review: A Weekly Magazine of Ideas, The Chronicle of Higher Education. 17 June 2011. [More Information]
  • Stirring the Pot: Domesticity and the Kitchen in the Fiction of Southern Women, Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 2008. [More Information]
  • “Why Are All the Fat Brides Smiling?: Body Image and the American Bridal Industry.” Feminist Media Studies 5.2 (2005): 243-246.
  • “Sexing the Domestic: Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding and the Sexology Movement.” Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South 42.2 (2004): 37-59. [More Information]
  • “From Courtship to Kitchen: Radical Domesticity in Twentieth-Century Southern Women’s Fiction.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 32.8 (2003): 907-936. [More Information]
  • “Ellipsis, Ritual, and ‘Real Time’: Rethinking the Rape Complex in Southern Novels.” Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures 54.1 (2000): 37-58. [More Information]


  • Openness Award, Stars at Seton Hill (Service Award), Seton Hill University, May 2008
  • Dissertation Year Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, 2000-2001
  • Tuition Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, 1996-2001
  • Susan Ford Wiltshire Prize for Graduate Essay on a Women’s Studies Topic, Vanderbilt University, 2000
  • Dissertation Enhancement Grant, Vanderbilt University, 2000
  • Teaching Assistantship, Vanderbilt University, 1997-2000


  • College Composition and Communication
  • Council of Writing Program Administrators
  • Ellen Glasgow Society of the American Literature Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Pittsburgh Area Composition Directors
  • Society for the Study of Southern Literature


  • “Glasgow, the Gothic, and the Cultural Capital of Feminine Beauty.” American Literature Association. Boston, MA. May 21-24, 2015.
  • “Technology with Heart: ‘This I Believe’ Podcasts in Basic Composition” iTeach. Seton Hill University. Greensburg, PA. May 8, 2015.
  • “The Little Things: American Miniatures in Cultural Contexts.” Northeast Modern Language Association. Toronto, Canada. April 30-May 3, 2015. [Panel organizer and panelist]
  • “Speed Dating an iPad until the Break of Dawn: Creative Techno-Feminist Pedagogy for Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn.” English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities. California, PA. Oct. 3-4, 2014
  • "The Gift of 'Dare’s Gift': Teaching Glasgow to Early Undergraduates." American Literature Association. Washington, D.C. May 22-25, 2014.
  • “'But the one I most wanted to be was Tragedy': Lee Smith’s Tableaux Vivants in On Agate Hill." Northeast Modern Language Association. Harrisburg, PA. April 3-6, 2014.
  • "Fashioning a Digital South: A Virtual Tour of Southern Style Blogs." Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Arlington, Va. March 27-29, 2014.
  • "You have even been to lady school": Pierre Bourdieu, Lee Smith, and an Appalachian Education. Appalachian Studies Association. Indiana, PA. March 23-25, 2012. [More Information]
  • "The thing they knew": Death Rituals in 'The Wanderers' and The Optimist's Daughter." Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Nashville, TN. March 29-April 1, 2012.
  • “Creating an Assessment Community.” Writing Program Administrators Summer Conference. Baton Rouge, LA. July 14-18, 2011. [More Information]
  • “Teaching with iPads: Motivation, Inspiration, Alienation in the Appleverse.” Computers and Writing. Ann Arbor, MI. May 18-22, 2011. [More Information]
  • “We Were Theory Before Theory Was Cool: Lee Smith, Pierre Bourdieu, and New Gender Theory for Southern Literature.” Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Honolulu, HI. Jan 9-12, 2011. [More Information]
  • “Teaching Twilight and Feminism, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?” The Twilight Saga: Girls, Women, Feminism, and Popular Culture: An Academic Conference. Edinboro, PA. Oct. 23, 2010 [More Information]
  • “‘But the one I most wanted to be was Tragedy’: The Cultural Capital of Self-Denial in Lee Smith’s On Agate Hill.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference. New Orleans, LA. April 8-11, 2010 [More Information]
  • “Fashioning Another Self and Another South: O’Connor, Welty, Walker, and the Creation of Clothing.” Southern Women Writers Conference. Rome, GA. September 24-26, 2009. [More Information]
  • “‘Chick Lit’ and ‘Pollyannas’: What We’ve Learned from Book Selection Debates” Northeastern Modern Language Association. Boston, MA. February 28-March 1, 2009. [More Information]
  • “Inside the Cage, Outside ‘The System’: Domestic Education and the Critique of Hyper-femininity in Ellen Glasgow’s Virginia” American Literature Association. San Francisco. May 22-25, 2008.
  • “Screeching and Hissing on the Route to Change: Railroads and Domesticity in Lee Smith’s Oral History.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Williamsburg, Virginia. April 17-20, 2008.
  • “Sexual Violence in the Work of Raymond Andrews.” Invited to present for the “Super-session” of the Southern Writers Symposium. Fayetteville, North Carolina. February 25-28, 2007.
  • “Establishing a Writing Program at a Small University as a New WPA.” Writing Program Administrators Annual Conference. Chattanooga, Tennessee. July 13-16, 2006.
  • “Let them Do Research!: Two Uncommon Approaches to Teaching the Research in a General Writing Course for First-Year Students.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Chicago. March 22-26, 2006.
  • “Just a Taste: Eudora Welty’s Domestic Sensuality.” American Literature Association. Boston. May 22-25, 2003.
  • “Toni Morrison and the House of Jazz.” MELUS: Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States. Boca Raton. April 10-13, 2003.
  • “What’s Cooking: Personal Narrative in the Online Kitchen.” Modern Language Association. Washington, D.C. December 27-30, 2000.
  • “Cracker Barrel Casserole and Bug Bite Soup: The Southern Kitchen Goes Online.” Mid-Atlantic American/Popular Culture Association. Albany. November 3-5, 2000.
  • “Storms Brewing: The Appalachian Kitchen as Indicator of Social Change in Lee Smith’s Oral History.” Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South. Nashville. October 6-9, 2000.
  • “The Critique of Separate Spheres in Melville’s Typee.” MLA. Chicago. December 27-31, 1999.
  • “‘A Dwelling-house of the Valley Described’: Gendered Architecture in Melville’s Typee.” Gendered Landscapes. Pennsylvania State University. May 29-June 1, 1999.
  • “Melville’s Fictional Gender Divide.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies: Transatlanticisms. Ohio State University. April 9-10, 1999.


  • Women's Negotiation Training for Project Catapult, Pennsylvania Women and Girls Foundation


  • Invited to lead workshop:“Using iPads in Teaching and Learning.” June 2011 Faculty Development Workshops, Arcadia University. Glenside, PA. June 14-16, 2011.
  • Selected to participate in the Council of Independent Colleges Information Fluency Workshop. New Orleans, Louisiana. March 2010. [More Information]
  • Selected to participate in Faculty Seminar on Slave Narratives at Yale University, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: June 7-10 2009 [More Information]
  • Computer-Assisted Writing Coordinator, College Writing Program, Vanderbilt University, 2003-04
  • Lecturer, Department of English and Program in Women’s Studies, Vanderbilt University, 2001-2004
  • President, English Graduate Student Association, Vanderbilt University, 2000-2001
  • Master Teaching Fellow, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching, 2000-2001