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Katy Ryan

Katy Ryan

Associate Professor

BA, Boston College
Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Office: 221 Colson Hall
Tel: 304-293-9729
Fax: 304-293-5380

Katy Ryan teaches courses in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature. 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 edited a collection of creative and critical writings on the death penalty, Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism (Univ. of Iowa, 2012).She serves on the board of the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP), a nonprofit that she founded in 2004. APBP sends free books to women and men imprisoned in West Virginia and five surrounding states. Her essays appear in American Literature, African American Literature, Studies in the Novel, Philosophy and Literature, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language. More at


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

September 9: Mark Brazaitis and Faith Shearin Reading in the Robinson Reading Room, WVU Downtown Libary from 7:30-9:00 p.m.

September 11: Student submissions for Sturm Writer-in-Residence Deadline.

September 24: Benedum Lecture by Kirk Hazen in the Rhododendron Room, WVU Mountainlair at 4:00 p.m.

October 7: Alison Bass Reading in 130 Colson Hall from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

October 14: Pizza Party in 130 Colson Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

October 15: Susan Straight Reading in the Robinson Reading Room, WVU Downtown Library from 7:30-9:00 p.m.