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Kathleen Ryan

Katy Ryan

Associate Professor

Ph.D. 2000 Univ. of MA, Amherst
Office: 221 Colson Hall
Tel: 304-293-9729
Fax: 304-293-5380
Curriculum Vitae

In 2004, Katy Ryan founded the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a community and student organization that sends free books to women and men imprisoned in West Virginia and five surrounding states. She teaches courses in twentieth-century US literature, drama and performance studies, and the literature of imprisonment and resistance. She is the recipient of the 2014 Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice, a WVU Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award, an Eberly College Outstanding Teaching Award, and the James and Arthur Gabriel Brothers Faculty Award for teaching and service. She has edited a collection of creative and critical writings on the death penalty, Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism (Univ. of Iowa, 2012). Her essays appear in American Literature, African American Literature, Studies in the Novel, Philosophy and Literature, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language.


Twentieth-Century American Literature
Prison Literature
Performance Studies

Selected Publications

Editor, Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism in the United States (Univ. of Iowa Press, 2012).

“A View of The Brig: From the Cage to the Street.” Political and Protest Theatre after 9-11: Patriotic Dissent (Routledge, 2012).

“State Killing, the Stage of Innocence, and The Exonerated.” American Literature 83.1 (March 2011).

“Permeable Borders and American Prisons: Malcolm Braly’s On the Yard.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 50.3 (Fall 2008).

“Horizons of Grace: Marilynne Robinson and Simone Weil.” Philosophy and Literature 29.2 (Oct. 2005): 349-364.

“Falling in Public: Larsen’s Passing, McCarthy’s The Group, and Baldwin’s Another Country.” Studies in the Novel 36.1 (Spring 2004): 95-119.

“Assurance of God.” Short Story. Denver Quarterly (Winter 2001).

“Revolutionary Suicide in Toni Morrison’s Novels.” African American Review (Fall 2000).

“Documentary Films on U.S. Social Issues.” Humanities Collection 1.3 (1999).

”’No Less Human’: Making History in Suzan-Lori Parks’s The American Play.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 8.2 (Spring 1999).

“A Body’s Mind Experience in Tim Miller’s Workshop.” Theatre Topics 7.2 (Sept. 1997).

writing center tutorials
civic engagement
writing contests
Extended Learning
Summer Classes

View More Events

March 11: Pizza Party in 130 Colson Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

April 21: PWE Poster Display in 130 Colson Hall, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a presentation at 4:00 p.m.

April 23: Calliope Reading in 130 Colson Hall, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

April 30: MFA Reading in the Rhododendron Room in the Mountain Lair from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.