Jennifer Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor of English

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Smith teaches American Literature; Development of the English Novel; Plague, Pox, Zombies: Contagion in Literature, Law, and Film; Writing about Literature; Gender Moves: WGS and the Transnational Turn; The Noetic Experience through the Humanities. Her areas of expertise include 19th and 20th century American literature and culture; gender, race and ethnicity; narrative theory and genre studies. Dr. Smith also teaches in the Women's and Gender Studies program.

Her current project, Provisional Identities: The American Short-Story Cycle, places the short-story cycle at the center of American literary history. For nearly two hundred years, the cycle, composed of independent yet interconnected stories, fostered the aesthetics of fragmentation and recurrence, which characterize modern and contemporary fiction.

Dr. Smith serves as the University's English Club Advisor. She has been a member of Concordia’s faculty since 2010.


  • PhD, Indiana University; Bloomington, Ind.
  • MA, English literature, Indiana University; Bloomington, Ind.
  • BA, English literature and German, Ball State University; Muncie, Ind.

Academic and Professional Highlights


  • “Birthed and Buried: Matrilineal History in Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven,” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalisim, 9.1, (2009): 141-162.
  • “Locating the Short-Story Cycle,” in The Journal of the Short Story in English 57 (2011): 59-79.
  • "Born in the Workshop: The MFA and the Short-Story Cycle," Triquarterly Online, Jan. 2012
  • "Dean Young's Fall Higher," Indiana Review, 33.2 (2012)
  • "Writing Ritual, Resisting Resolution: The Short Story Cycles of Hemingway and Steinbeck," Short Fiction in Theory & Practice 3.2 (2013): 175–191.
  • "The Short Story Cycle in American Fiction,” forthcoming in Critical Insights: American Short Story. Eds. Michael Cocchiarale and Scott D. Emmert. Amenia, NY: Grey House.
  • "Teaching the Short-Story Cycle, Teaching American Literature," forthcoming in Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture
  • “Sherwood Anderson and the Contemporary Short-Story Cycle” and "Making the Bilungsroman New," forthcoming in Rodopi Dialogue Series: Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Ed. Precious McKenzie Stearns.