Professor , LIT/HUSL
Office: JO 5.620
Areas of Specialization: Modern American literature, African-American literature, Faulkner.
Education: PhD, University of Virginia
MA, University of Exter, England
BA, University of Kansas
Theresa Towner received the PhD in English from the University of Virginia, where she wrote a dissertation on the later novels of William Faulkner, and went on to develop a second literary expertise in African American literature. Her first book, entitled Faulkner on the Color Line: The Later Novels was published by the University Press of Mississippi in May 2000. The book received very good general notices and several prominent, highly positive reviews (in Choice, Southern Quarterly and South Atlantic Review, for instance).
Professor Towner's second book, Reading Faulkner: Collected Stories (University Press of Mississippi, 2006), was commissioned as part of the prominent Reading Faulkner series, which seeks to explicate Faulkner's texts and set them in their material, cultural, and literary contexts. That book also received high praise from scholars who examined it in manuscript as part of my promotion file. The Introduction to Faulkner volume for Cambridge University Press's new series on modern writers, her third book, appeared in 2008. In addition, Dr. Towner writes the annual "Faulkner" chapter of American Literary Scholarship, a commitment that involves reading and evaluating the year?s output of criticism on the writer who generates more of it than anyone, including Shakespeare; She also contributed to this year's special Faulkner issue of Mississippi Quarterly. Dr. Towner has published essays and book reviews and presented papers on Faulkner and literary and cultural theory. She co-chaired two "Teaching Faulkner" sessions at the annual Faulkner conference at the University of Mississippi. Professor Towner also serves as a peer reviewer for six major journals and two presses. She expects her next two books to be, first, a study of Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and David Bradley and, second, a study of white patronage during the Harlem Renaissance movement. Dr. Towner's teaching at UT Dallas will continue to reflect her interests in points of convergence between American life and American letters.