Jennifer Smith

Professor of English, Chair, Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, Director of the Writing Center, Coordinator, First Year Seminar-Writing


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Jennifer J. Smith is an Associate Professor and Chair of English at North Central College. She is the director of the Writing Center and coordinator of the First-Year Seminar--Writing. Her research and teaching focus on American literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present, with special interests in narrative theory, gender studies, and comparative ethnic approaches. Her book, The American Short Story Cycle, was released by Edinburgh University Press in 2018, and her essays have appeared in Pedagogy, Meridians, and a number of essay collections. She has two projects underway; one is an essay for the upcoming collection Taylor Swift as/and Literature, and the other is a book project tentatively titled Epistles in the Ether: Gender and New Media in Contemporary Literature. This book explores contemporary literature that engages faxes, memos, emails, Twitter, PowerPoint, blogs, and the traditional letter to render gendered experiences around the world.

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Selected Scholarship


The American Short Story Cycle. Edinburgh University Press, 2018. (paperback 2019)

Articles and Book Chapters

“Make It Local: Re-Thinking the Survey of American Modernism,” Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice, vol. 12, no. 1, 2022, pp. 68-82.

“Modernist Intertextualities in folklore and evermore.” Accepted for Taylor Swift as/and Literature, edited by Anastasia Klimchynskaya and Betsy Winakur Tontiplaphol, under review with Bloomsbury.

Glaspell’s Short Fiction and Magazine Culture.” forthcoming in Susan Glaspell and Her Contexts, edited by J. Ellen Gainor, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

“The Story Cycle,” The Encyclopedia of American Fiction, 1980-2020, edited by Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen J. Burn, and Lesley Larkin, Wiley-Blackwell, 2022.

“Autobiography, Modernism, and the Midwest,” The American Midwest in a Scattering Time: How Modernism Met Midwestern Culture, edited by Sara Kosiba, Hastings College P, 2018, pp. 1-15.  Short-listed for the 2019 David D. Anderson Award for Outstanding Essay in Midwestern Literary Studies by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature.

“Collection, Cycles, Sequences.” The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story, edited by Paul Delaney and Adrian Hunter, Edinburgh UP, 2018, pp. 93-107.

“Teaching the Short-Story Cycle, Teaching American Literature.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, vol. 16, no. 2, 2016, pp. 207-227.

“Sherwood Anderson and the Contemporary Short-Story Cycle.” Rodopi Dialogue Series: Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, edited by Precious McKenzie Stearns, Rodopi, 2016, pp. 121-143.

“The Short Story Cycle in American Fiction.” Critical Insights: The American Short Story, edited by Michael Cocchiarale and Scott D. Emmert, Grey House, 2015, pp. 3-19.

“Writing Ritual, Resisting Resolution: The Short Story Cycles of Hemingway and Steinbeck.” Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, vol. 3, no. 2, 2013, 175-192.

“Locating the Short-Story Cycle.” The Journal of the Short Story in English, vol. 57, 2011, pp. 59-79.

“Birthed and Buried: Matrilineal History in Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven.” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, vol. 9, no. 1, 2009, pp. 141-162.

Additional Publications

“‘Consider a shoulder’: Leaning on Collaboration in Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of Their Time,” Gallery and Book Review, Modernism/modernity, vol. 29, winter 2022, pp. 197-9.

Book Review of Matthew Vechinksi’s Twentieth Century American Fiction in Circulation, Reception, vol, 14, 2022, pp. 112-6.

Book Review of Thomas Sanfilip’s Conversations with Mona Lisa, The North Meridian Review, May 2021.

“Sherwood Anderson.” Encyclopedia entry and annotated bibliography in Short Story Criticism, Gale.

“6 Books for TV Lovers.” Edinburgh University Press Blog. 14 Dec. 2017, https://euppublishingblog.com/2017/12/14/6-books-for-tv-lovers/

“Born in the Workshop: The MFA and the Short-Story Cycle.” Triquarterly Online, Jan. 2012. http://www.triquarterly.org/craft-essays/born-workshop-mfa-and-short-story-cycle

Dean Young’s Fall Higher.” Indiana Review, vol. 33, no. 2, 2012.

Courses Taught

CARD 101 First-Year Seminar--Writing

ENGL 200 Gateway: Introduction to English

ENGL 104 How to Read and Write Poems

ENGL 106 How to Read Stories and Novels

MWRT 680 Professional Presentation and Public Reading