English Program

Wendy Martin

Professor of American Literature and American Studies
Vice Provost and Director of the Transdisciplinary Studies Program

Professor Wendy Martin



Before coming to CGU in 1987, she taught at Queens College, CUNY from 1968 and was on the visiting faculty at Stanford University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UCLA.  At CGU, she chaired the Department of English from 1988-1999 and 2003-present and the Faculty Executive Committee for 3 years.  In 1972, Professor Martin founded and has continued to edit Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal; she is also on the editorial boards of the Heath Anthology of American Literature and the "Gender and Culture" series of the University of North Carolina Press.




Contact Information

Professor Wendy Martin
English Department
School of Arts & Humanities | Claremont Graduate University
143 E. Tenth | Claremont, CA 91711
Tel.: 909.607.3340 | Fax: 909.607.9587
Email: Wendy.Martin@cgu.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours
New office hours will be posted soon.

Professor Martin's Menu



List of Publications


  • Jazz, Politics and American Culture (in progress)
  • From the Gilded Age to the Progressive Age, Wendy Martin and Cecelia Tichi, (ABC CLIO, forthcoming 2016)
  • American Women Writers from the Puritans to the Present (Routledge, forthcoming, January 2015)
  • All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson's World, Wendy Martin editor, Laura Bauer and Karen Strovas associate editors [2 volumes] (ABC Clio, January 2014)
  • Best of Times, Worst of Times: The American Short Story from 1980 to the Present (NYU Press, 2011)
  • Emily Dickinson, (Cambridge University Press, March 2007). Chinese translation, 2010
  • The Art of the Short Story (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)
  • More Stories We Tell: Best Short Fiction by North American Women Writers Since 1970 (New York: Pantheon, 2004)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (Cambridge University Press, 2002)
  • The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996)
  • Colonial American Travel Narratives (New York: Viking Penguin, 1994)
  • We Are the Stories We Tell: Best Short Fiction by North American Women Writers Since 1945  (New York: Pantheon, 1990)
  • New Essays on the Awakening, American Novel Criticism Series (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1988)
  • Portions of the section on Anne Bradstreet have been reprinted in Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, ed. James E. Person, (Gale Research: Detroit, Michigan, 1987)
  • Portions of the section on Adrienne Rich have been reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism, ed. Daniel G. Marowski (Gale Research: Detroit, Michigan, 1987)
  • An American Triptych: The Lives and Work of Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, and Adrienne Rich (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 272 pps. Published in clothbound and paperback editions; second printing, 1984.
  • The American Sisterhood: Feminist Writings from the Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1972).  Contains an introductory essay, biographical essays, and an extensive bibliography in addition to the collected articles.

Her articles and reviews have appeared in Early American Literature, American Literature, Eighteenth Century Studies, Studies in Romanticism, the Los Angeles Book Review, and the New York Times Book Review.

Courses Taught

Creative Writing: The Short Story

This seminar focuses on writing the short story as well as stylistic analysis and historical sources and context of the genre. In addition to assigned readings, students will be expected to submit a portfolio of short stories, some of which will be discussed in class.

The American Century: American Literature and Culture from 1900-1950

This seminar focuses on fiction, autobiography, essays, and poetry from the turn of the century through World War II and its aftermath. We will investigate the impact of technology as well as political and economic events on literature and culture of the first half of the 20th century. We will read works by Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, F. S. Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Louis Armstrong, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larson, Claude McKay, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Alain Locke, e. e. cummings, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, William Carols Williams, and others.

The American Century: American Literature and Culture from 1950-2000

This course will address issues of race, multiculturalism, gender, and class, as well as the changes in economic, social and aesthetic values after World War II. Some of the authors we will read include the following: Mary McCarthy, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Adrienne Rich, James Baldwin, Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Oates, John Barth, David Leavitt, Grace Paley, Toni Cade Bambara, Maxine Hong Kingston, Thomas Pynchon, Mary Gordon, Toni Morrison, David Hwang, Garrett Hongo, Donald Barthelme, Sylvia Plath, and others.

Twentieth-Century American Drama


A study of twentieth-century American theater, in which we will read the works of O'Heill, Miller, Williams, Albee, Guare, Howe, Hwang, Jones, Kushner, Lucas, Mamet, Wasserstein, Wilson, and others. When available, film versions of the plays will be screened prior to class discussion.


American Autobiography from Puritans to the Present

This course will explore autobiography as a literary genre in the context of American literature and culture. We will begin with early American autobiographical accounts of settlers in the new world, and we will conclude with autobiographical narratives at the end of the twentieth century. Some of the authors we will read will include Mary Rowlandson, Sarah Kemble Knight, Benjamin Franklin, Equiano, slave narratives, Mark Twain, Louis Armstrong, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Gertrude Stein, Margaret Mead, Mary McCarthy, Malcolm X, Alix Kates Shulman, Annie Dillard, and Vivian Gornick.

Twentieth-Century American Fiction

Investigation of literary movements (modernism, romanticism, realism, postmodernism); genres  (ghost story, documentary, detective story, protest novel); identity politics (race, gender, class); and publishing history.

American Migrations

American literature is characterized by patterns of mobility and migration. From its beginnings to the present, American writers have celebrated geographical explorations, as well as personal and cultural change. Indeed, it could be said that the "journey" is a central trope of American literature and culture and that geographical movement shapes the structure of this experience. From the Puritan Voyage to the New World and the journey West to the Northern Migration, from the Beat Celebration of the Road to the Cyber apotheosis of the Information Highway, movement--geographical and psychological--shapes the structure of American experience. We will read a range of American writers from Bradford and Whitman to Jack Kerouac and Joan Didion.

Heading West: American Writers and Representations of the Frontier

The historian Frederick Jackson Turner has argued that the frontier has defined American experience. The fact of a vast expanse of land to be explored and developed shaped American concepts of liberty and individual rights in relationship to the community. In this seminar, we will examine representations of the frontier in a range of texts (novels, short stories, poetry, and documentary narrative) as well as films that will be placed in cultural context. Authors will include Twain, Whitman, Harte, Austin, Atherton, London, Robinson Jeffers, Cather, Steinbeck, Nathanael West, Kerouac, Snyder, Didion, Kingston, Erdrich, Cormac McCarthy, Hunter Thompson, Anaya Kingsolver, and Richard Rodriguez. Films in the "western" genre will also be included, as will the Ken Burns documentary on the West.

The Jazz Aesthetic in American Literature and Culture

The American Frontier and American Women Writers

Fiction Into Film

2014 Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 621-8000 Campus Safety Emergency Info Campus Map/Driving Directions