Kirsten Parkinson

John S. Kenyon Professor of English
Director, Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature

A.B., Harvard University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California


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  • Introduction to Literary Studies
  • Nineteenth-Century British Literature
  • Twentieth-Century British Literature
  • The Victorian Novel
  • Creeps and Castles: Gothic Fiction
  • James Joyce's Ulysses
  • World Literature
  • Visions of India
  • Literary Perspectives on Women
  • Introduction to Film Analysis
  • Masculinity, Femininity and the Body
  • Writing About Food
  • Ghouls and Goblins: The Cultural Meanings of Monsters

Research Interests

  • Victorian literature and culture
  • Food in literature and culture
  • Gender studies
  • Postcolonial literature
  • Film studies, particularly adaptation


  • “Mrs. Rochester’s Story: Franco Zeffirelli’s Adaptation of Jane Eyre” in Literature/Film Quarterly (2015)
  • “Where Else” (creative nonfiction) in Confrontation (Fall 2014)
  • "'What do you play, boy?': Card Games in Great Expectations" in Dickens Quarterly (June 2010)
  • "The Pot Roast Is Political: Domestic Ideology in Victorian and World War II Cookbooks" in Midwestern Folklore (Fall 2003)

Recent Presentations

  • “The Secret Life (and Death) of Sherlock Holmes.” Chardon Public Library/Geauga Council for Arts and Culture, Chardon, OH. May 2014
  • “The Thuggification of Literature: Sparky Sweets Meets Jane Austen in ‘Thug Notes.’” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference. Chicago. April 2014
  • “Deception and Detection: The Rise of the Mystery Novel in the Nineteenth Century.” Rabbit Run Theater, Madison, OH (August 2012)
  • “Schools, Speculation and Serialization: The Historical Context of Nicholas Nickleby.” Morley Library, Painesville, OH, and Rabbit Run Theater, Madison, OH (July 2012)
  • “The Deserving Poor: Oliver Twist and the New Poor Law.” Perry Public Library, Perry, OH, and Rabbit Run Theater, Madison, OH (June 2012)
  • “Boz, Dickens, The Inimitable: The Man Behind the Stories.” Morley Library, Painesville, OH (June 2012)
  • Keynote speaker. Dickens in Ithaca Festival. Ithaca, New York (April 2012)
  • “The Mistress of Bleak House: Esther Summerson and the Discourse of the Law.” Midwest Conference on British Studies. Cleveland (October 2010)
  • Keynote speaker, International Dickens Fellowship Annual Conference, Cleveland (August 2009)
  • Guest on "Around Noon," WCPN (NPR), Cleveland (January 2009)
  • "'What do you play, boy?': Card Games in Great Expectations," Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (April 2007)
  • "Viewer, I Married Him: Translating Jane Eyre to the Silver Screen," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference, San Diego (March 2005) and Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference, Chicago (April 2005)
  • Invited panelist, "Medical Ethics: From Frankenstein to the 21st Century," Discussion associated with the exhibit "Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature," Cuyahoga County Public Library at Parma Community General Hospital, Parma, Ohio (September 2003)


  • Vencl-Carr Award for Teaching Excellence (2009)
  • Paul E. Martin Award (2004, 2006, 2013)
  • Michael Starr Award for outstanding service and potential (2004)
  • NOCHE Award for Excellence in Teaching, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (2004)

Current Projects

An essay about brownstone front cake, a cake recipe from the early 20th century.

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