Susan K. Harris

Distinguished Professor
Primary office:
785-864-2639
3110 Wescoe Hall


Areas of Research

Mark Twain’s life and writings; 19th-century American women writers & their readers; 19th & 20th-century immigrant writing; 19th-century American literature; issues of national identity, citizenship, religion, & race in American literature and culture.

Selected Publications

Monographs: God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898-1902 (Oxford, 2011); Annie Adams Fields, Mary Gladstone Drew, and The Work of the Late 19th-Century Hostess (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2002); The Courtship of Olivia Langdon and Mark Twain(Cambridge, 1996); 19th-Century American Women's Novels: Interpretive Strategies(Cambridge, 1990);  Mark Twain's Escape from Time: A Study of Patterns and Images(Missouri, 1982). 
Editions: Kate Douglas Wiggins, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Penguin, 2005);Catharine Maria Sedgwick, A New-England Tale (Penguin, 2003); Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Houghton Mifflin, 2000); Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Minister's Wooing (Penguin, 1999); Mark Twain: Historical Romances (Library of America, 1994).

Most recent articles:  “At Home and Abroad: Nineteenth-Century Textbooks and the Creation of Christian Citizenship in the U.S. and the Philippines.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, (Fall 2009/Winter 2010); ”Women, Anti-Imperialism, and America’s Christian Mission Abroad: The Impact of the Philippine-American War.” Becoming Visible:  Women’s changing presence in late nineteenth-century America, Alison Easton, R.J. Ellis, Janet Floyd, and Lindsey Traub, Eds. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010;“Following Mark Twain.” Mark Twain Annual (Summer, 2010).

Faculty Profile

The second decade of the 21st century sees me deeply engaged with questions of national identity, immigration, race, and religion in American culture.  My teaching has always been historically grounded, and I ask students to think about their reading within broad historical and cultural contexts. Mark Twain’s topicality never ceases to amaze me.  Recently, I am very excited about a new course on Mark Twain and His World and another in recent immigrant writing, The TransNational Experience in American Literature. My new book, God’s Arbiters, has taken me far outside U.S. geopolitical boundaries, examining the United States from other nations’ points of view, and I am fascinated by the differences in perspective.  I look forward to further expanding both my teaching and research to think about Americans, their sense of national identity, and their literary productions, in ever-wider global contexts.


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