Dr. Alicia Mischa Renfroe

Professor

Dr. Alicia Mischa Renfroe
615-904-8407
Room 384, Peck Hall (PH)
MTSU Box 70, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office Hours

If you are a student in an online class, please check d2l for up to date announcements about virtual office hours and other appointment options.

Fall 2018:  Wednesday 12-3pm

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2002)
  • M.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1997)
  • J.D., University of Florida (1994)
  • B.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1991)

Areas of Expertise

19th and 20th Century American Literature; American women writers; Law and Literature; Critical Theory

Biography

Dr. Renfroe earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Tennessee and her J.D. at the University of Florida College of Law. Her research and teaching interests include law and literature, 19th and 20th century American literature, and critical theory. She recently participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Transcendentalism and Social Action in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller" held in Concord, Massachusetts. In 2009, she participated in the NEH Summer Institute "The Rule of Law: Legal Studies and the Liberal Arts" held in Biddeford, Maine.

Publications

Editions:

Editor.  Comparative Text: “A Story of Today” (Margret Howth) by Rebecca Harding Davis. Atlantic Monthly, 1861-62.  Electronic Edition. Rebecca Harding Davis Complete Works Digital Archive, 2018, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com  

Editor. A Law unto Herself  by Rebecca Harding Davis. 1878. University of Nebraska Press, 2014.  

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book C...

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Editions:

Editor.  Comparative Text: “A Story of Today” (Margret Howth) by Rebecca Harding Davis. Atlantic Monthly, 1861-62.  Electronic Edition. Rebecca Harding Davis Complete Works Digital Archive, 2018, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com  

Editor. A Law unto Herself  by Rebecca Harding Davis. 1878. University of Nebraska Press, 2014.  

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:

“Social Protest Literature, 1820-1914.” The Blackwell Companion to American Literature. Vol. 2.  Eds.  Susan Belasco, Theresa Strouth Gaul, Linck Johnson, and Michael Soto. Wiley Blackwell, Forthcoming 2018.  

“Edith Wharton and Law.” Critical Insights: Edith Wharton. Ed. Myrto Drizou. New Salem Press, 2018, pp. 124-35.  

“The Specter and The Spectator: Rebecca Harding Davis’ ‘The Second Life’ and the Naturalist Gothic.” Haunting Realities.  Eds. Monika Elbert and Wendy Ryder, University of Alabama Press, 2017, pp. 205-18.  

“Introduction.”  The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Afterword Barry Sears, Signet Classics, 2015, pp. v-xii.  

“Introduction.” A Law Unto Herself. University of Nebraska Press, 2014, pp. ix-xlv.  

“Assessing Questions of Intent and Culpability: A Legal Review of the Shooting in Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber’” with Kenneth Brandt,  The Hemingway Review vol. 33, no. 2, 2014, pp. 8-29.  

“From General Education to Law and Literature: Teaching Jack London in Multiple Contexts.”  Approaches to Teaching Jack London.  Eds. Kenneth Brandt and Jeanne Campbell Reesman. Modern Language Association, 2014.  pp. 177-86.  

“Rights Claims and the Rule of Law in Rebecca Harding Davis’s ‘Life in the Iron-Mills’” Topic Special Issue: Rebecca Harding Davis. Vol. 59,  2013, pp. 15-29.   Reprinted in:  Short Story Criticism. Ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 192. Gale, 2014.     

“Casting Lots, Contracts, and Cannibals in William Dean Howells’s A Modern Instance.”  English Language Notes Special Issue: Law, Literature, and Culture. Ed. Nan Goodman. vol. 48,.no. 2, 2010, pp. 143-52.  

“Rights and Justice in Edith Wharton’s The Reef.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Vol.  39, 2010, pp. 1-24.  

“Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice: Louisa May Alcott’s Publishers and the Depiction of Contract in A Modern Mephistopheles.”  Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and the Literary Marketplace.  Eds. Earl Yarington and Mary DeJong.  Cambridge Scholar’s Press, 2007.  pp. 349-66.  

“Prior Claims and Sovereign Rights: The Sexual Contract in Edith Wharton’s Summer.” Law and Literature. Ed. Michael J. Meyer.  Rodophi, 2004. pp. 193-206.  

“Interrogations of Justice in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Cycnos vol. 19, no. 2, 2002, pp. 213-224.

Other Publications:

“Chapter 7: Amy’s ‘Valley of Humiliation’” Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women: A 150th Anniversary Celebration Blog, edited by Anne Phillips and Gregory Eiselein, 2018,  https://lw150.wordpress.com/  

“Rebecca Harding Davis and Law.” Rebecca Harding Davis Complete Works Digital Archive. http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/  

“The Legal Context of ‘The Case of Jane Boyer’” Rebecca Harding Davis Society Newsletter vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, pp. 2-4.    

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.”  Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction.  Eds. Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones. New York: Facts on File, 2009. pp. 275-77.    

“Scott Turow.”  Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction.  Eds. Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones. New York: Facts on File, 2009. pp. 350-51.  

The Summons by John Grisham.”  Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction.  Eds. Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones.  New York: Facts on File, 2009. pp. 339-40.  

“Defining Romanticism: The Implications of Nature in Jane Eyre and Frankenstein.” Prometheus Unplugged? Romanticisms Past and Future. Emory University. April 1996. Web.  Excerpt “Nature, the Moon, and Jane Eyre” reprinted in The Bronte Messenger vol. 17, 2008, pp. 3-5.  

“Review of Crime in Literature: Sociology of Deviance and Fiction.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal vol. 87, no. 1-2, 2004, pp. 231-36.

 “Review of What’s Left of Theory: New Work on the Politics of Literary Theory.”  Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal vol. 84, 2004, pp. 3-4.

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Presentations

“The Regional Gothic in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Peterson’s Fiction” American Literature Association. Boston, MA. May 2017.  

“Editing Rebecca Harding Davis for the Classroom” American Literature Association. San Francisco, CA. May 2016.  

“Archival Challenges.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Philadelphia, PA.  November 4-8, 2015.  

“The Specter and The Spectator: Rebecca Harding...

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“The Regional Gothic in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Peterson’s Fiction” American Literature Association. Boston, MA. May 2017.  

“Editing Rebecca Harding Davis for the Classroom” American Literature Association. San Francisco, CA. May 2016.  

“Archival Challenges.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Philadelphia, PA.  November 4-8, 2015.  

“The Specter and The Spectator: Rebecca Harding Davis and the Naturalist Gothic.”  American Literature Association.  Boston, MA. May 22-24, 2015.

  “’The Deaf and the Dumb’: Rebecca Harding Davis and Pennsylvania Workplace Reforms.” American Literature Association. Washington, DC. May 22-25, 2014.  

“Rebecca Harding Davis’s Detective Fiction and the Civil War.” Witnessing and Remembering the Civil War(s): Woolson, Davis, and their Contemporaries. Columbus, GA. Feb 21-23, 2013.  

“Teaching Alcott in Law and Literature.”  American Literature Association. San Francisco, CA.  May 24-27, 2012.  

“Marcus Schouler, Detective? Reading Frank Norris’s McTeague as a Crime Novel.” American Literature Association Symposium: Crime Fiction and American Culture. Savannah, GA. Sept. 22-24, 2011.  

“’To Concord and back’: Rebecca Harding Davis and Louisa May Alcott.” American Literature Association. Boston, MA. May 26-29, 2011.  

“Approaches to Teaching ‘Life in the Iron Mills.’” American Literature Association.  San Francisco, CA. May 27-30, 2010.  

“’Why did this chance word cling to him so obstinately?’: Rights Discourse and Natural Law in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Life in the Iron Mills.” Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Brown University. Providence, RI. March 19-20, 2010.  

“Contract, Property, and the Question of Justice in Rebecca Harding Davis’s A Law Unto Herself.”  American Literature Association.  Boston, MA.  May 21-24, 2009.  

“Rights and Region in Selected Works by Rebecca Harding Davis.” American Literature Association.  San Francisco, CA.  May 22-25, 2008.  

“Leaving Justice to Chance: Gendered Justice in Edith Wharton’s The Reef.” Literature and Law Conference.  John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  New York, NY. April 11, 2008.  

Poster Presentation “Cannibalism, Contracts, and Capitalism:  Reading William Dean Howells’s A Modern Instance as a Naturalist Text.”  MTSU Scholar’s Week.  Murfreesboro, TN.  April 6, 2007.    

“Louisa May Alcott and her Publishers.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers.  Philadelphia, PA.  November 8-11, 2006.  

“Contractual Obligation and Necessity in William Dean Howells’s A Modern Instance.” American Literature Association.  San Francisco, CA. May 25-28, 2006.  

 “The Treatment of Law in Louisa May Alcott’s ‘A Whisper in the Dark.’” Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. College of Law. Syracuse, NY. March 17-18, 2006.  

“James’s ‘thin guarantee’: Relational Contracts and Aesthetic Representation in The Wings of the Dove.”  American Literature Association.  Long Beach, CA. May 30-June 2, 2002.                                

“‘In love and in law’: Legal Discourse in Louisa May Alcott’s Work.”  Law, Culture, and the Humanities Conference. University of Pennsylvania College of Law. Philadelphia, PA. March 8-10, 2002.        

“Representations of Democracy in the Work of William Dean Howells.” Literature and  Democracy Conference.  Emory University.  Atlanta, GA. February 22-24, 2002.                                

“Interrogations of Justice in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” International Law and Literature Conference.  Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis.  Nice, France. June 27-29, 2001.                                 “

Rights and Justice in Edith Wharton’s The Reef.”  Law, Culture, and the Humanities Conference.  Georgetown Law School.  Washington, D.C.  March 9-11, 2000.                                

“‘Gifts for Gifts Back Again’: Bargaining and the Individual in William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes.” Law, Culture, and the Humanities Conference.  Wake Forest Law School. Winston- Salem, NC.  March 12-14, 1999.

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Awards

Nominee, MTSU Distinguished Research Award

Anye Cantrell Award for Outstanding Service to Women’s and Gender Studies  

Women’s and Gender Studies Award for Excellence in Service

Research/Scholarly Activity

Editions:

Editor.  Comparative Text: “A Story of Today” (Margret Howth) by Rebecca Harding Davis. Atlantic Monthly, 1861-62.  Electronic Edition. Rebecca Harding Davis Complete Works Digital Archive, 2018, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com  

Editor. A Law unto Herself  by Rebecca Harding Davis. 1878. University of Nebraska Press, 2014.  

In the Media

“Chapter 7: Amy’s ‘Valley of Humiliation’” Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women: A 150th Anniversary Celebration Blog, edited by Anne Phillips and Gregory Eiselein, 2018,  https://lw150.wordpress.com/  

“Rebecca Harding Davis and Law.” Rebecca Harding Davis Complete Works Digital Archive. http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/    

Courses

Graduate: 

American Literature 1860-1910

Special Topics: Edith Wharton: From Old New York to the Jazz Age (traditional and online)

Special Topics: Louisa May Alcott and Rebecca Harding Davis

Directed Readings on a variety of writers (Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, Horatio Alger, Zitkala-Sa, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott) and topics (the Gothic and Social Reform, the legacy of Transcendentalism, the Progressive Era, American Utopias, the Novel of Manners...

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Graduate: 

American Literature 1860-1910

Special Topics: Edith Wharton: From Old New York to the Jazz Age (traditional and online)

Special Topics: Louisa May Alcott and Rebecca Harding Davis

Directed Readings on a variety of writers (Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, Horatio Alger, Zitkala-Sa, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott) and topics (the Gothic and Social Reform, the legacy of Transcendentalism, the Progressive Era, American Utopias, the Novel of Manners)

Undergraduate:

Law and Litertaure

Special Topics: Crime, Criminals, and Detectives

American Realism and Naturalism

19th Century American Literature

19th Century Women Writers

Introduction to American Literature (traditional and online)

Experience of Literature

Research and Argumentative Writing

Expository Writing

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