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Mary O’Connor, Ph.D.

Professor of English and Cultural Studies

Email: moconnor@mcmaster.ca
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23731
Office: Chester New Hall, Room 323

Areas of Interest

English; African-American women writers; Women, gender, and feminist theory; Victorian and modern British literature; Bakhtin


Mary O’Connor’s research and teaching interests are in feminist theory, American Literature, women’s life writing, modernism, photography and material culture. She teaches graduate courses in Everyday Life and Archive Theory and Gender and American Modernism. Her undergraduate courses are in American Literature, Modern Countercultures, and African-American Women Writers. She has published on women writers of the seventeenth century (e.g. “Representations of Intimacy in the Life Writing of Anne Clifford and Anne Dormer” (Representations of the Self from the Renaissance to Romanticism, Cambridge UP, 2000), and “Interpreting Woman Abuse in the Seventeenth-Century Writing: The Case of Anne Dormer” (Quidditas, 2002); on African-American women writers: Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor and Ntozake Shange; on modernists Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Susan Glaspell; and on Canadians Alice Munro and Bharati Mukherjee. She has also worked in fin-de siécle and decadent literature with her book on John Davidson (Scottish Academic Press, 1987). She has published in the field of women’s health and participatory action research: Women’s Voices in Health Promotion (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 1999) and a narratives project, The Grassroots Women’s Collective, Voicing Our Stories/Remaking Our Lives: Women Speak Out (Second Story Press, 1999). Her latest publication is an interdisciplinary study of the life and work of the Canadian photographer Margaret Watkins, which she completed with Katherine Tweedie (Concordia University): Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2007). She is also engaged in a collaborative project with Sara Mendelson: an edition of the letters of Anne Dormer (1648 to 1695).





Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007. Co-authors Mary O’Connor and Katherine Tweedle







The Grassroots Women’s Collective, Voicing Our Stories/Remaking Our Lives: Women Speak Out. Eds. Mona Aziz, Reva Bomberry, Maggie Fischbuch, Marcela Krautter and Mary O’Connor. Second Story Press, 1999

Women’s Voices in Health Promotion. Eds. Mary O’Connor, Margaret Denton, Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Isik Urla Zeytinoglu, and Karen Williams. Canadian Scholar’s Press, 1999.

John Davidson: Scottish Writers Series. Scottish Academic Press, 1987.

Refereed Book Chapters:

“Foreword: Sylvia Bowerbank (1947-2005).” In Ecofeminist Approaches to Early Modernity. Eds. Jennifer Munroe and Rebecca Laroche. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Co-authors Mary O’Connor and Sara Mendelson

“‘Thy Passionately Loving Sister and Faithfull Friend’: Anne Dormer’s Letters to Her Sister Lady Trumbull.” In Sibling Relations and Gender in the Early Modern World: Sisters, Brothers and Others. Eds. Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh.Ashgate, 2006. 206-215. Co-authors Sara Mendelson and Mary O’Connor

Anne Dormer (1648–1695).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, 2004.

“Representations of Intimacy in the Life-Writing of Anne Clifford and Anne Dormer.” Representations of the Self from the Renaissance to Romanticism. Eds. Patrick Coleman, Jayne Lewis, and Jill Kowalik. Cambridge UP, 2000. 79-96.

“The Objects of Modernism: Everyday Life in Women’s Magazines, Gertrude Stein, and Margaret Watkins.” American Modernism Across the Arts. Eds. Jay Bochner and Justin D. Edwards. Peter Lang, 1999. 97-123. Series: Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature.

“Subject, Voice, and Women in some Contemporary Black American Women’s Writing.” Contemporary American Women Writers: Gender, Class, Ethnicity.Eds. Lois Parkinson Zamora, Raman Selden, and Stan Smith.Longman, 1998. 32-50. Series: Longman Critical Readers

“Horror, Authors, and Heroes: Gendered Subjects and Objects in Bakhtin and Kristeva.” Bakhtin: Carnival and Other Subjects. Ed. David Shepherd.Rodopi, 1993. 242-258. Series: Critical Studies.

“Subject, Voice, and Women in some Contemporary Black American Women’s Writing.” Feminism, Bakhtin, and the Dialogic. Eds. Dale M. Bauer and Susan Jaret McKinstry. State U of New York P, 1991. 199-217. SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory

Refereed Journal Articles:

“Interpreting Early Modern Woman Abuse: The Case of Anne Dormer.” Quidditas. 23 (2002): pp. 49-66.