Jana Tigchelaar

Assistant Professor

Educational Background
PhD English, University of Kansas, 2013
MA English, Ohio University, 2007
BA English and Art, Trinity Christian College, 2000

Interests and Specializations
Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Regionalism, Women and Gender Studies, Multiethnic American Literature, Material Culture

Dr. Tigchelaar’s research interrogates the ways in which marginalized figures in American literature and culture use writing, speaking, and participating in the public sphere to recast their statuses. Her current book project, “Consuming Communities: U.S. Women’s Regionalism and Consumer Culture,” challenges concepts of regionalist literature as a marginal generic category as well as traditional beliefs about the consumer economy’s destructive impact on regional community identities. Her research shows that regionalist authors such as Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rose Terry Cooke, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary Wilkins Freeman use consumer objects and material exchange to reimagine communities that transgress the presumably fixed margins of the local to promote fluid, permeable notions of community and national identity.

In her courses, which include Early American Literature, American Renaissance, Introduction to Textual analysis, and Frontier and Wilderness in Early American Literature, Dr. Tigchelaar works with her students to identify and interrogate the social and cultural forces that have shaped literary production.

Selected Publications
“The Neighborly Christmas: Gifts, Community, and Regionalism in the Christmas Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett and Mary Wilkins Freeman.” Legacy: A Journal of American Woman Writers 32.1 (December 2014): 236-57.

“Those ‘whose deaths were not remarked’: Ghostly Other Women in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, and Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.” The Ghostly and the Ghosted in Literature and Film: Spectral Identities. Eds. Melanie Anderson and Lisa Sloan. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2013: 29-43.

“Empathy or Expectation of Return: Relationships, Gifts, and Economy in Edith Wharton’s Summer.” Edith Wharton Review 28.1 (Spring 2012): 13-20.