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Amanda Zink

Associate Professor of English

Office: LA 234



PhD, English (2013), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

MA, English (2005), University of Massachusetts, Boston

BA, English (2000), Olivet Nazarene University

My research and teaching focus on nineteenth to twenty-first century American literature. More particularly, my work focuses on American literature from the margins, written by Americans who, because of their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, or indigeneity, find themselves struggling even to be included in the American body politic. I also focus on literature from generic margins, writing and teaching about texts such as magazine stories, comics, and other ephemeral cultural texts alongside more traditionally "literary" novels, poems, short stories, and essays.

My first book emerging from these interests was published in 2018 by the University of New Mexico Press. Titled Fictions of Western American Domesticity: Indian, Mexican, and Anglo Women in Print Culture, 1850-1950, this book looks at the (literary) history of women's involvement in Westward Expansion. As white women found new freedoms during this period, American Indian and Mexican American women found themselves doubly colonized: by the federal projects and programs that took over more and more Western lands, but also by a newly-mobile force of white women who used their authority in the ideologies of American domesticity to force new ways of living and being upon them. At the same time, Indian and Mexican women also found ways into this domestic discourse, and their literature demonstrates sophisticated negotiations of the forces--both indigenous and federal--that would circumscribe their identities.

I have also begun work on a second book project, funded, in part, by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council. The research for my first book shows that a) there are many, many texts written by Native American students during their years at federal Indian boarding schools and that b) these texts, though increasingly digitized, are scattered across the Internet and library archives. This second book, then, aims to gather some of these texts into an edited collection, an anthology of literature written by Native students at boarding schools in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Such a book would provide easier access--for researchers and indigenous families--to a nearly forgotten canon of Native writing that is a rich site documenting the adaptation and survivance (to use Gerald Vizenor's term) of American Indians during the heyday of federal policies aimed at exterminating them.

My research in these areas necessarily informs my teaching. I am committed to helping students look for and listen to voices from the American margins, to help them understand--through encounters with literary texts and with theoretical and critical methodologies--that, as Henry David Thoreau put it, "the universe is wider than our views of it."


Fictions of Western American Domesticity: Indian, Mexican, and Anglo Women in Print Culture, 1850-1950, University of New Mexico Press, 2018.

In Progress: In Their Own Words: An Anthology of Literature by Students at Northwest Indian Boarding Schools.

Articles and Book Chapters

"The Muslim Woman's Body as Speakerly Text: The Embodiment of Religion, Trauma, and Shame in Abubakar Adam Ibrahim's Season of Crimson Blossoms," coauthored with Elizabeth Olaoye, Body Studies Journal (2020).

"'In Harmony with the Desert': Syncretic Modernism in Polingaysi Qoyowayma's No Turning Back." Modernist Women Writers and American Social Engagement, editors Jody Cardinal, Deirdre E. Egan-Ryan, and Julia Lisella, Lexington Books, 2019. 

"Carlisle's Writing Circle: Boarding School Texts and the Decolonization of Domesticity." Studies in American Indian Literatures 27.4 (Winter 2015), 37-65.

"Maternal Economies in the Estranged Sisterhood of Edith Summers Kelley and Charlotte Perkins Gilman." Studies in American Fiction. Spring 2015.

"Peyote in the Kitchen: Gendered Identities and Imperial Domesticity in Edna Ferber's Cimarron." Western American Literature 47.1 (Spring 2012): 67-89.

Courses Taught

6623: Graduate Seminar in Literary Themes (Setting Up Housekeeping: Literary Domesticity in the American West; [Re]Narrating Anxiety and Identity in American Literature and Pop Culture)

6611: Theories at the Intersection

4491: Senior Seminar in Literature: Borderlands: Mexican-American Literature

4470/5570: Post-Colonial Literature

4468/5568: Studies in Early 20th Century: American Modernisms

4453/5553: American Indian Literatures

4433: Methods of Teaching English

3328: Gender in Literature

3323: Ethnicity in Literature

3311: Literary Criticism and Theory

2211: Introduction to Literary Analysis

1175: Literature and Ideas: American Horror Stories

1101 and 1102: Writing and Rhetoric I and II