Shelly Jarenski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English Literature
Shelly Jarenski
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Language, Culture, and the Arts
Monday and Wednesday 2:00pm- 3:00 pm or by appointment including phone and virtual appointments

Teaching Areas:

American Studies, English, Women's & Gender Studies

Research Areas:

African-American Identity and Literature, English, Literary Theory and Analysis, Women and Gender Studies

Biography and Education


English, Loyola University Chicago, 2007

Selected Publications


Immersive Words: Mass Media, Visuality, and National Literature, 1839-1893. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015.


“A hidden past of unfiltered sunlight and space": Reclaiming the Black West in Shelton Johnson’s Gloryland.” The Literary Western in the Global Imagination edited by Christopher Conway, Marek Paryż, David Rios. European Perspectives on the United States, vol 5. Brill Publishers, 2022. 54-72.

“Homes On-the-Road, Terrorized Cabins, and Prophetic Nightmare-scapes: Emma J. Ray’s Unsettling Western Fantasies.” Western American Literature. 54.6.(Winter 2020): 381-414. 

“Ghost Towns and Ghost-ed Riders: Nature as a Radical Archive in the African American Experience” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 6.1 (Winter 2019): 27-60.

“Dave the Potter, Theaster Gates and the Aesthetics of Power in African American Art and Craft” Where Is All My Relation? The Poetics of Dave the Potter edited by Michael A. Chaney.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

“‘Delighted and Instructed:’ Panoramic Aesthetics and African-American Challenges in J. P. Ball, Kara Walker, and Frederick Douglass.”  American Quarterly. 65.1 (2013):  119-155.

“Invisibility Embraced:  The Abject as a Site of Agency in Ellison’s Invisible Man.” MELUS. 35.4 (2010):  85-110.

"The Voice of the Preceptress: Female Education in and as the Seduction Novel". The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 37.1 (Spring 2004): 59-68.

Book Reviews and Other:

"Kitchen Garden Work." From: A Photograph And A Thousand Words: Reflections from the "Ever Widening Horizon..." Photograph Album Workshop. The General Commission for Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. August 2015. Web.<wbr></wbr>children

Solicited Book review of Creating Memorials, Building Identities:  The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic by Alan Rice.  Solicited by African American Review. 47.4. (2014): 590-92.


African American Review
The Journal of Urban History
American Studies Review


"Carnival of Souls" in Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks