Theresa Towner

Theresa Towner

Ashbel Smith Professor of Literary Studies
Ashbel Smith Professor — Literature
JO 5.620
Tags: American literature Modern literature Humanities Fantasy literature HUMA LIT

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - English
University of Virginia - 1990
University of Exeter - 1981
University of Kansas - 1980


The Cambridge Introduction to William Faulkner (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) forthcoming - Publication
Faulkner, American Literary Scholarship 2005, forthcoming forthcoming - Publication
Reading Faulkner: Collected Stories. Lead author and editor, in collaboration with James B. Carothers. (University Press of Mississippi, forthcoming, February 2006) 2006 - Publication
Al Jackson, Ernest V. Trueblood, and 'Mr. Faulkner, a Member in Good Standing of the Ancient and Gentle Profession of Letters,' The Enduring Legacy of the Humor of the Old Southwest, ed. Ed Piacentino (Louisiana State University Press, 2006), 39-51. 2006 - Publication
Beyond the Old Marshal: 'Patriotic Nonsense] The Verncular Cosmopolitan, and Faulkner's Fiction of the Early 1940s. The Faulkner Journal 21. l&2 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006): 91-106. Special issue on Faulkner and Ideology, ed. Kevin Railey. 2006 - Publication
Faulkner in America, ed. Joseph R Urgo and Ann J. Abadie, South Atlantic Review 691 (Winter 2004); 144-47. 2004 - Publication
William Faulkner: Six Decades of Criticism. Edited by Linda Wagner-Martin, Mississippi Quarterly 57.2 (Spring 2004): 344-46. 2004 - Publication
Historical Criticism, A Companion to Faulkner Studies, ed. Charles A. Peek and Robert W. Hamblin (Westport, CT and London: Greenwood Press, 2004), 27-45. 2004 - Publication


Professor of literary studies
University of Texas at Dallas [2006–Present]
Associate professor of literary studies
University of Texas at Dallas [2003–2006]
Assistant professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2000–2003]
Assistant professor/Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
University of Texas at Dallas [2000–2001]
Senior lecturer (full time), Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
University of Texas at Dallas [1998–2000]
Senior lecturer (half time)
University of Texas at Dallas [1997–1998]
Senior lecturer (half time)
University of Texas at Dallas [1996–1997]
University of Texas at Dallas [1994–1996]


The Rigid Protocol of Bondage; Race and Faulkner's Later Fiction
1997–1997 A Century of Faulkner and His Critics special session (organizer and chair), South Central MLA armual conference
Faulkner: The Apocrypha
2000–2000 panel (chair), Society for the Study of Southern Literature conference
Faulkner and African American Literature
2000–2000 Dallas Museum of Art Surmner Seminar A Fine Disregard: Art and Literature of the Twentieth Century,
WilliamHad-Two-Faulkners: Progenitor on the Color Line
2000–2000 Faulkner at the Millennium panel (Judith Bryant Wittenberg, chair), Society for the Study of Southern Literature conference
When the Dancing Mind Meets lnquiring Minds: The Noble Profession in Practice
1997–1997 Faullmer and Morrison in the Classroom panel (organizer)

Additional Information

  • Special Faculty Development Assignment, University of Texas at Dallas, 2004-05
  • Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award for 2001-2002, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Leverhulme Fellowship finalist, University of Leeds, England, 1997
  • MLA, SAMLA, SCMLA, American Literature Association, Faulkner Society  (secretary-treasurer, 1994-2000), Toni Morrison Society, Society for the Study of Southern Literature
  • University of Texas at Dallas (Summer 1994- ):
    • African American Literature (3 sections)
    • African American Novel (3 sections)
    • Western Literary Tradition (5 sections)
    • Faulkner (4 sections)
    • Faulkner and Morrison
    • Toni Morrison
    • Cooper, Melville, and Twain
    • Literature of Fantasy: Oz
    • Literature of Fantasy: Oz and Harry Potter
    • Literature of Fantasy: Oz, Namia, Hogwarts (2 sections)
    • Literature of Fantasy: Harry Potter (Honors)
    • American Modernism (2 sections)
    • American Realism and Naturalism (2 sections)
    • Literature of the American South
    • Autobiography (Honors)
    • Exploration of the Humanities (includes supervising graduate student TAs) [6 sections]
    • Exploration of the Humanities (Honors) [3 sections]
    • Freshman Oral Communications (3 sections)
    • Independent study projects
      • Faulkner; American modernism, African American autobiography; Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, travel; L. Frank Baum and J.K. Rowling; Western literary tradition, Faulkner and Foucault
    • Honors Thesis projects
      • Harlem Renaissance, Dracula and McTeague, Flannery O’Connor, Dennis Cooper; literary manifestations of Cartesian dualism; Toni Morrison, African American women’s literature; creative writing, L. Frank Baum and IK. Rowling; language of Harry Potter; Harry Potter as epic hero; Jane Austen and Margaret Atwood; Faulkner; children’s poetry; Faulkner and Foucault, translation of African Francophone writing
    • Graduate courses (2001- )
      • Faulkner (3 sections)
      • Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Arts and Humanities (2 sections)
      • Toni Morrison
      • Independent study: Faulkner; Morrison; chi1dren’s literature
      • MA portfolio supervision
      • PhD exam iields supervision and committee chair
  • Texas Woman’s University (Summer 1994):
    • American Literature from 1865 to Present
  • University of Virginia:
    • Introductory Composition (5 sections)
    • Intermediate Composition
    • Modern American Literature
    • Studies in Fiction: Comparative Modern
    • British and American Fiction
    • Faulkner
  • University of Virginia Continuing Education lecturer, graduate arts and sciences (occasional)

News Articles

Literature Prof Praised for Engaging Approach
Literature Prof Praised for Engaging Approach Dr. Theresa Towner felt as if she were living in someone else’s story when she first learned that she had received a Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award from The University of Texas System. “I’m still letting the news sink in,” the professor of literary studies in the School of Arts and Humanities said soon after hearing the news. She is one of two UT Dallas winners of the award for 2010. Regents’ nominees are selected through a rigorous process that starts with deans and department chairs, who rely heavily on student and peer faculty evaluations. The nominations advance through the university until they receive a recommendation from the campus president. The UT System selection committee then weighs annual reviews, evidence of continuous improvement, commitment to high-quality undergraduate education and other factors.
Dr. Theresa Towner Named Teacher of the Year At The University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Theresa Towner Named Teacher of the Year  At The University of Texas at Dallas Dr. Theresa M. Towner, an assistant professor of literary studies in the School of Arts & Humanities and an authority on the work of Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner, has been selected teacher of the year at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for the 2001-2002 academic year. The award, which is provided each year by The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council to recognize excellence in teaching at each of the system’s nine general academic institutions, is accompanied by a $5,000 prize and will be presented to Towner May 17 at an Honors Convocation in the Conference Center on campus. Towner also will speak at the convocation. UTD President Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer said Dr. Towner, who joined UTD as an adjunct lecturer in 1994, was selected from nearly 60 UTD teachers nominated by students for the honor, which is formally called the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award.
Embracing Nerdiness as a Model of Its Adult Life
Arts and humanities professor Dr. Theresa Towner has seen much of this growth firsthand. She started as a lecturer in 1994, four years after the University first admitted freshmen and has won awards for her teaching excellence. She also happens to teach a popular course on the literature of fantasy, covering the Wizard of Oz books, the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter.
Towner, whose office decor includes a hand-knitted Gryffindor scarf and a small model of a Dementor staring down at visitors, sometimes playfully engages her students by reminding them, “You go to Nerd University. Embrace it!” But not, she says, for reasons that have to do with its “techno-geek rep.”
2 UT Dallas Scholars Win Regents' Teaching Awards
A professor who helps UT Dallas students appreciate how economics impacts everyday life and a literature scholar with interests ranging from Faulkner to C.S. Lewis have been honored by The University of Texas System Board of Regents.

The two received Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards in a recent ceremony that also honored 70 other UT System faculty members, with whom they will share $2 million in awards.