Jennifer Lieberman

Personal Information

First name: 
Jennifer
Last name: 
Lieberman
Brief Bio: 

I received a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida, as well as an M.A. in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in English with a graduate minor in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois. My interests are varied and include American Literature and Culture, Critical Pedagogy, Digital Humanities, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. An interdisciplinary scholar, I have held research fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution’s Dibner Library, the Bakken Library and Museum, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. During the 2010 – 2011 academic year, I am teaching the Introduction to American Literature to Unit One students (students in a living/learning community at the U of I); teaching technical writing to students in the Aerospace Engineering Senior Design course; working on improving the “Missing Basics” curriculum with members of the iFoundry team in the College of Engineering; volunteering as a tutor and lecturer at Danville Correctional Center; blogging as a HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) Scholar; and editing the completed draft of my dissertation.

Full Bio: 

I received a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida, as well as an M.A. in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in English with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois. My interests are varied and include American Literature and Culture, Critical Pedagogy, Digital Humanities, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. I am dedicated to transformative education and regularly inspired by my teaching, academic outreach, and service. An interdisciplinary scholar, I have held research fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution’s Dibner Library, the Bakken Library and Museum, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. During the 2010 – 2011 academic year, I am teaching the Introduction to American Literature to Unit One students; teaching technical writing to students in the Aerospace Engineering Senior Design course; working on improving the “Missing Basics” curriculum with members of the iFoundry team; volunteering as a tutor and lecturer at Danville Correctional Center; blogging as a HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) Scholar; and editing the completed draft of my dissertation.

Drawing on archival research I conducted as a Visiting Fellow at the Bakken Library and Museum and at the Smithsonian Institution’s Dibner Library, “Power Lines: Electric Networks and the American Literary Imagination” argues that an array of writers—including Gertrude Atherton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Pauline Hopkins, Jack London, and Mark Twain—generated innovative representational frameworks for describing new networks, from the electric chair through the regional power grid. At the same time, scientists and engineers frequently adapted literary tropes to illustrate the power and beauty of the electric charge. By tracing this unwritten history of creative interconnection between technologists and literary artists, my project rethinks the Gilded Age as “the electric age”—the age when new electrical systems inspired different approaches to reading and writing American literature.

An abbreviated version of my first chapter, “Hank Morgan’s Power Play: Electrical Networks in King Arthur’s Court,” will be available through The Mark Twain Annual in November 2010.