alli head shot 1My name is Allison Tharp: Welcome to my online teaching and research portfolio. Stay awhile!

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware in the English Department, and I recently completed my PhD in English Literature at the University of Southern Mississippi. My research areas include nineteenth century American protest literature, cultural studies, rhetorical criticism, and teaching pedagogy.

My dissertation, “‘Out of the dark confinement!’: Physical Containment in American Protest Literature, 1859-1861,” combines methodologies of rhetorical criticism and cultural studies and redefines how we look at protest literature as a genre by focusing on rhetorical devices that span movements (i.e. abolition, workers’ rights, and women’s rights). In particular, my project identifies images of physical containment, moments of direct address, and strategies of teaching readers how to read in nineteenth century protest literature, and I argue that authors use these techniques to move privileged readers to an inclusive understanding of freedom in mid century. These techniques combined, I argue, define a sub-genre of protest literature, one that aims to create empathy between readers, writers, and characters with the end goal of inducing direct action in the public sphere in order to correct the problem of social and political inequality.

I have had the opportunity to teach a wide range of classes at The University of Delaware and The University of Southern Mississippi, including Composition I and II, World Literature, Technical Writing, and Introduction to Fiction. No matter what class I’m teaching, though, I follow Carol Dweck’s recommendation to ask my students about their “fantastic struggles.” I too believe, like Dweck, that learning involves struggle; but this struggle isn’t something we should be ashamed about, nor is it something we should ignore. Instead, I ask my students to embrace that struggle, and I embrace mine right along with them.

In these pages, you will find detailed information about my teaching experience and philosophy, pedagogical innovations, and student evaluations, along with information about my research interests and professional experience. Feel free to contact me with any questions, thoughts, or suggestions.


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