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Anna Elfenbein

Associate Professor


  • American Literature
  • Women's Studies
  • Film

Selected Publications:

  • Women on the Color Line: Evolving Stereotypes and the Writings of George Washington Cable, Grace King, and Kate Chopin, Virginia, 1989.
  • Engendering the Word: Feminist Essays in Psychosexual Poetics, Illinois, 1989 (co-editor).
Representative Articles:
  • “A Forgotten Revolutionary Voice in Southern Literature: ‘Woman’s Place’ and Race in Olive Dargan’s Call Home The Heart,” The Female Tradition in Southern Literature, ed. Carol s. Manning (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press): 1993. 193-208.
  • “Unsexing Language: Pronominal Protest in Emily Dickinson’s ‘Lay this Laurel,’” in Engendering the Word: Feminist Essays in Psychosexual Poetics (Illinois, 1989): 208-23.
  • “Kate Chopin’s The Awakening: An Assault on American Racial and Sexual Mythology,” Southern Studies 26 (1987 [published in 1989]): 304-12; (repr. in The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, 2nd ed. ed. Margo Culley (New York: Norton, 1994): 292-99.
  • "'Wild Peaches’: Landscapes of Desire and Deprivation,” Women’s Studies 15 (1988): 387-97. Edition of Olive Tilford Dargan’s From My Highest Hill with University of Tennessee Press, 1998.

Talks Offered

Anna Elfenbein currently offers the following talk as part of the English Department Speakers program:

“Reflections on a Trip to Beijing”
Take a “trip” to China with Anna Elfenbein, West Virginia Public Radio’s “bureau chief” at the United National’s Fourth World Conference on Women. See slides, hear her story about women’s Plan of Action for the 21st century, and engage in a question and answer session concerning the role that West Virginia women played at this meeting of 30,000 women from 185 countries.

“Politics of the Protean: Star Trek in ‘Infinite Combination'"
With video clips and “fanzine” narrative excerpts, Dr. Elfenbein illustrates some of the paths of prototypical resistance Star Trek fanatics have charted by rewriting, redrawing, and reediting the Star Trek series. Weaving together the writings of cultural-studies theorists, such as Michel de Certeau, and the responses of the audience to her presentation, Dr. Elfenbein will speculate on the desires that motivate the ongoing refashioning of Star Trek by avid Trekkies.

The English Department Speakers program (EDS) provides talks for a variety of audiences-high schools, civic groups, community organizations, etc.-free of charge. To obtain more information about the EDS program or to schedule a speaker, call Professor Lisa Weihman at (304) 293-9735 or e-mail her at