Academics

Faculty and Staff

Susan Larkin

Professor of English

Office Location: Batten 246B
Phone: 757-233-8809
Email: slarkin@vwc.edu
Department/s: English

Dr. Susan Larkin is a Professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College.  After graduating from North Providence High School in Rhode Island, she received her B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.  While at Wheaton, Larkin played on teams that won conference and ECAC titles and played in the 1997 DIII College World Series, ending up third in the nation.  Dr. Larkin did her graduate work at Illinois State University, earning an M.A. in English, a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, and a PhD in English Studies.  Her areas of specialization are Children’s and Adolescent Literature and Women’s Studies and she has published on Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walt Disney, Mr. Rogers, and Harry Potter, and is currently working on a study of contemporary women’s memoir.  At VWC, she teaches courses on Children’s Literature, Adolescent Literature, Women’s Studies, Women’s Literature, and Composition.  

Publications:

  • “Liberation, Renewal, and the Re-Imagination of Self: Wild and Garlic and Sapphires.”  Co-authoring with Sarah Foust Vinson.  Journal of South Texas English Studies.  6.1 (2016): 15-26.  
  • Review of Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna: A Children’s Classic at 100.  Edited by Roxanne Harde and Lydia Kokkola.  Children’s Literature Association Quarterly.  40.4 (2015): 413-415.    
  • “Fantasy as Free Space: Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood.”  In Revisiting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Teaching and Learning about Self and Community.  Kathy Merlock Jackson and Steven Emmanuel, Eds.  New York: McFarland and Company, 2016.
  •  “Discipline and Gender in Women’s Studies Classes.”  Co-authored with Harold E. Dorton, Jr.  In Gender and Sexuality Studies.  Thalia M. Mulvihill, Ed.  Stuyvesant Falls: Rapid Intellect Group, 2015. 130-135. Print.
  • “The Sentimental Novel: Community, Power, and Femininity.” Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations.  Kathy Merlock Jackson and Mark I. West, eds.   New York: McFarland and Company, 2014.  Print.
  • Review of Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women’s Literacies. By Heather Locklear, Journal of American Culture. 35.4  (Winter 2012): 375-6.  Print. 
  • “Discipline and Gender in Women’s Studies Classes.”  Co-authored with Harold E. Dorton, Jr.  Academic Exchange Quarterly 16.3 (2012): 38-43.  Print.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder.”  The Literary Encyclopedia.  23 March 2009.  Web.
  • Review of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, by Pamela Smith Hill, The Lion and the Unicorn 33.1 (Winter 2009): 104-107.  Print.
  • “Life Writing/Writing a Culture: Laura Ingalls Wilder.”  MidAmerica. 34 (2007): 118-125.  Print.
  • “Laura’s Story: Gender, Autobiography, and the Little House Books.”  a/b: Auto/Biography Studies  22.2 (2007): 250-269.  Print.
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    National/International Presentations:

  • “Mr. Rogers’s Make-believe: Making Space for Reality.”  The National Popular Culture & American Culture Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, March 2016. 
  • “Illusion as a Survival Tool: Shifting Subjectivities in The Hunger Games and Ten Cents a Dance.”  The National Popular Culture & American Culture Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2014.
  • “Disney’s Sentimental Fiction.”  International Popular Culture Association Conference, Warsaw, Poland, July 2013. 
  • “Playing Dress Up: Illusion, Power, and the Female Adolescent.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Biloxi, MS, June 2013.
  • “Children’s Literature in ‘Adult’ Courses.” International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Boston, MA, June 2012.
  • “Fairy Tale Makeovers: Style or Substance.” The National Popular Culture & American Culture Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA, April 2012.
  • “The Body Beautiful?  Fairy Tale Revisions and the Female Body.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Roanoke, VA, June 2011. 
  • “The Female Body as Classroom Object: Gendered rules for consumption?”  Co-presented with Harold Dorton.  The National Popular Culture & American Culture Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 2011. 
  •  “The Politics of Mixed Gender Team Teaching in Women’s Studies Classes.”  Co-presented with Harold Dorton.  The National Popular Culture & American Culture Association Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO, April 2010. 
  • “A Knucklehead, a Bad Boy and a Yo-yo: The Autobiographies of Walter Dean Myers, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Charlotte, NC, June 2009.
  • “Stepping Outside Myself: Considering Multiculturalism.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Newport News, VA, June 2007. 
  • “Life Writing/Writing a Culture: Laura Ingalls Wilder.”  Writing the Midwest Symposium, Lansing, MI, May 2007.  
  • “From Damsels to Demons: Transforming the Bildungsroman.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Manhattan Beach, CA, June 2006. 
  • Session Organizer, “American Girls Don’t Need Dolls: Examining, Voicing, and Defining the American Girl.”  Modern Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature Conference, Nashville, TN, April 2005.
  • “Still on the Frontier: The Little House Books as Women’s Texts.” Modern Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature Conference, Nashville, TN, April 2005.
  •  “Haunted: Gothic Influences on the Bildungsroman.”  Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2003. 
  • “A Reading and Analysis of Summer of My German Soldier.”  Banned Book Reading and Evaluation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL., September 2003. 
  • “Woman or Werewolf:  Shifting Subjectivities in Annette Curtis Klause’s Blood and Chocolate.”  Modern Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature Conference, Nashville, TN, April 2003. 
  • “Walking the Unbeaten Path: Cynthia Voigt’s Subversion of the School Story.” International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, Wilkes-Barre, PA, June 2002.
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    Regional/Local Presentations:

  • “Fantasy as Free Space: Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood.”  Revisiting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Teaching and Learning about Self and Community.  VWC, Norfolk, VA, April 2016.
  • “Autobiographical Childhood.” Virginia Children’s Book Festival.  Longwood University, Farmville, VA, October 2015. 
  • “Banned and Challenged Books.” Constitution Day Panel sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, VWC, Norfolk, VA, September 2015. 
  • “The Body Tale.”  Fat Talk Week Panel, VWC, Norfolk, VA, October 2011. 
  • “Anne Frank: Bringing Memoir of Age.”  Anne Frank: Lessons for a New Century, Norfolk, VA, April 2010. 
  • “Do You Believe in Magic?: Considering Power, Agency, and Wizardry in the Harry Potter Novels.”  Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2006. 
  • “A Reading and Analysis of The Giver.”  Banned Book Reading and Evaluation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, September 2004.
  • A Reading and Analysis of Blood and Chocolate.”  Banned Book Reading and Evaluation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, September 2002.
  • “Everyone Poops But No One Talks About It.”  Ewing English Studies Symposium, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, April 2002.
  • “A Reading and Analysis of The Great Gilly Hopkins.”  Banned Book Reading and Evaluation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, September 2001.
  • “Teaching for the First Time.”  Illinois State University Writing Program Orientation, Normal, IL, January, 2001.
  • “Co-Teaching, Myth or Utopia?”  Ewing English Studies Symposium, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, April 2000.
Women's Autobiography
Adolescent Literature
Children's Literature
Women's Studies
Spring

ENG*250*05;ENG*286*01;ENG*344*01;ENG*105*06
Tpc: Adolescent Realsim;Banned Books;Practicum in Teaching English;College Writing

Fall

ENG*105*05;ENG*286*01;ENG*317*01;ENG*344*02
College Writing;Banned Books;Children's Literature;Practicum in Teaching English

Winter

ENG*248*01;ENG*348*01
Tpc Trvl Wrtng: New York City;Tpc Trvl Wrtng: New York City