Feminist theory; African-American women writers; Victorian and modern British literature; Bakhtin
Mary O'Connor’s research and teaching interests are in feminist theory, American Literature, women’s life writing, modernism, photography and material culture. She teaches graduate courses in Everyday Life and Archive Theory and Gender and American Modernism. Her undergraduate courses are in American Literature, Modern Countercultures, and African-American Women Writers. She has published on women writers of the seventeenth century (e.g. "Representations of Intimacy in the Life Writing of Anne Clifford and Anne Dormer" (Representations of the Self from the Renaissance to Romanticism, Cambridge UP, 2000), and "Interpreting Woman Abuse in the Seventeenth-Century Writing: The Case of Anne Dormer" (Quidditas, 2002); on African-American women writers: Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor and Ntozake Shange; on modernists Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Susan Glaspell; and on Canadians Alice Munro and Bharati Mukherjee. She has also worked in fin-de siécle and decadent literature with her book on John Davidson (Scottish Academic Press, 1987). She has published in the field of women’s health and participatory action research: Women’s Voices in Health Promotion (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 1999) and a narratives project, The Grassroots Women’s Collective, Voicing Our Stories/Remaking Our Lives: Women Speak Out (Second Story Press, 1999). Her latest publication is an interdisciplinary study of the life and work of the Canadian photographer Margaret Watkins, which she completed with Katherine Tweedie (Concordia University): Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2007). She is also engaged in a collaborative project with Sara Mendelson: an edition of the letters of Anne Dormer (1648 to 1695).