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Laura Tanner

english department

Photo of Laura Tanner


B.A., Colgate University
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Stokes Hall S425
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467

Phone: 617-552-2495
Fax: 617-552-4220

Academic Profile

Specializes in American modernism, twentieth-century American fiction and theories of the body. Her most recent book, Lost Bodies: Inhabiting the Borders of Life and Death, was published by Cornell University Press in 2006.

Publications (selected)


Selected Articles

  • "Living Breast Cancer: The Art of Hollis Sigler" in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Spring 2014, Vol. 33, No. 1, 219-239.
  • “Holding on to 9/11: The Shifting Grounds of Materiality.” PMLA: Journal of the Modern Language Association of America. 127.1 (January 2012): 58-76.
  • "Uncomfortable Furniture: Inhabiting Domestic and Narrative Space in Marilynne Robinson's Home." Contemporary Women’s Writing. 2011; doi: 10.1093/cww/ vpr013.
  • "Intimate Geography: The Body, Race and Space in Nella Larsen's Quicksand.”
    Texas Studies in Literature and Language
    . 51-2 (Summer 2009): 179-202.
  • ’Looking Back from the Grave’: Sensory Perception and the Anticipation of Absence in Gilead.” Contemporary Literature. 48.2 (Summer 2007).
  • “Bodies in Waiting: Representations of Medical Waiting Rooms in Contemporary American Fiction.” American Literary History. 14.1 (Spring 2002): 115-130.
  • “Haunted Images: Photographic Representations of People with AIDS.”  Genre. 29.1-2 (Spring/Summer 1997): 135-159.
  • “Death-Watch: Terminal Illness and the Gaze in Sharon Olds’s The Father.” Mosaic: A journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature. 29.1 (Spring 1996): 103-122.
  • “Speaking with ‘Hands at our Throats’: The Struggle for Artistic Voice in The Blithedale Romance.” Studies in American Fiction 21.1 (Spring 1993): 1-19.
  • "Sweet Pain and Charred Bodies: Figuring Violence in The White Hotel.” Boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture 18.2 (Summer 1991): 130-149.
  • "Reading Rape: Sanctuary and The Women of Brewster Place.” American Literature 62.4 (December 1990): 559-582.
  • Reprinted in Gloria Naylor: Critical Perspectives, Past and Present. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and K. Anthony Appiah. Cambridge: Amistad Press, 1993.
    Reprinted in Douze Lectures de Sanctuaire.  Ed. Andre Bleikasten. Rennes: PU de Rennes, 1995, 187-204.
  • Exposing the Sacred Juggle: Revolutionary Rhetoric in Robert Rogers’ Ponteach” (co-authored with J. Krasner). Early American Literature 24.1 (Spring 1989): 4-19.
  • Uncovering the Magical Disguise of Language: The Narrative Presence in Richard Wright’s Native Son.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 29.4 (Winter 1987): 412-431.
    Reprinted in Major Literary Characters: Bigger Thomas. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1990.
    Reprinted in Richard Wright: Critical Perspectives, Past and Present. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and K. Anthony Appiah.  Cambridge: Amistad Press, 1993.
  • “Self-Conscious Representation in the Slave Narrative.” Black American Literature Forum 21 (Winter 1987): 415-24.