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Department of English Language and Literature


Tara Powell

Title: Associate Professor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-4203
Office: HUO 510
Resources: English Language and Literature


PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999
BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997

Areas of Specialization 

    20th-Century American Literature
    Southern Literature

Recently Taught Courses 

ENGL 427    Southern Literature
ENGL 429s    Carolina Novelists
ENGL 752    Modern American Novel
ENGL 759    Southern Literature since 1900

Current Research Projects 

Works-in-progress include a book manuscript examining late twentieth-century southern verse memoirs by James Applewhite, Yusef Komunyakaa, Nikky Finney, John Lane, and others; a chapbook of poems about the Waldensian diaspora in Europe, North Carolina, and Uruguay; and a study of Doris Betts's uncollected short fiction.

Selected Publications 

 Writing in the Kitchen:  Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways.  Co-edited with David A. Davis.  Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2014. 
 The Intellectual in Twentieth-Century Southern Literature. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012.
 Physical Science. A chapbook of poems. Lexington, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2010.

    "'You Taste of America': Talladega Nights, Deliverance, and Southern Studies." Southerners on Film: Essays on Hollywood Portrayals Since the 1970s. Ed. Andrew B. Leiter. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2011. 217-229.
    "Percival Everett: Erasure." Still in Print: The Southern Novel Today. Ed. Jan Nordby-Gretlund. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2010. 73-87.
    "How Michael Chitwood Minds the South." Iron Mountain Review. 24 (2008): 23-29.
    "Beyond the Wallpaper: Crossroads of Region, Gender, and Intellectual Life in the Fiction of Doris Betts and Gail Godwin." South Atlantic Review. 72.3 (2007): 1-16.

    "Coiffure," "Drinking with the poets on the dock," and "Watching Deliverance with My Students." Weber Studies. 23.3 (2007): 96-98.
    "Pond," "Growing Season," "Laundry," "Akhmatova, Collected in Translation," "The Tattered Last of the Hurricane," and "Posture for Prayer." North Carolina Poet of the Week, October 2-8, 2006. North Carolina Arts Council.
    "Tempest Following Fortunes." Amarillo Bay. 6.2 (2004).
    "Daffodils Had Just Begun Nodding," "Motoring Home Down the Canal, I Heard the NPR Astronomer Claim," "Valentine," "Wardrobe," and "Woman in Hibernation." Poets Under 30 Feature. storySouth: the best from new south writers. Winter 2004.

Recent Presentations 

    "Kissing O'Connor's Skeleton." Flannery O'Connor Session. 10/2013 Rocky Mountain MLA Conference. Vancouver, WA.
    "A Wildness for the World: The Short Fiction of Doris Betts." Special Session on Doris Betts. 11/2012 South Atlantic MLA. Raleigh, NC.
    "Closing the Southern Sublime: A Liturgy of Trees in the Poetry of John Lane." Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. 11/2011 South Atlantic MLA. Atlanta, GA.
    "Responding to History and Women, Culture and Faith: Selected Writings of Elizabeth Fox-Genovese." 7/2011 St. George Tucker Society for Southern Studies. Augusta, GA.
    "'Nothing Can Gloss / Over Barbecue Sauce': Foodways, Memory, and Race in Contemporary Southern Poetry." Eating in the Kitchen: Race, Foodways, and Southern Literature Special Session.
    4/2010 Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Other Information 

   • Poetry Editorial Board Member for Weber: The Contemporary West (2007-present)
   • South Atlantic Modern Language Association Executive Committee Member (2014 - 2016)
   • Society for the Study of Southern Literature: Executive Council (2013 - 2015); Program Committee Member (2012 conference); American Literature Association regular session coordinator (2008 - 2014); RMMLA affiliate session coordinator (2010 - 2014)
   • American Waldensian Society Board of Directors (2011-present)
   • Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Executive Board: President (2015); Delegate-at-Large (2009 - 2011); Graduate Student Delegate (2004 - 2005)
   • Chair, Southern Writers Speaker Series. Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Richland County Public Library and the USC Institute for Southern Studies (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.