Deirdre Egan-Ryan

Associate Professor of English

B.A., College of the Holy Cross 
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Programs: English, American Studies

Deirdre Egan-Ryan is an associate professor of English and director of academic service-learning at St. Norbert College. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in 20th century American Literature and taking minor coursework in the history and culture of the U.S. West.

Deirdre's scholarly work investigates the ways that our relationship to space and place influence our modern and American identities. She is fascinated especially by the ways that women writing during the first few decades of the 20th century found themselves negotiating gendered identities through the shifting cultural spaces of American modernity: urban and rural, private and public.

Her dissertation research focused on the space of New York City as a rich site of modern identity formation, especially for women writers and urban planners like Willa Cather, Mina Loy, Zora Neale Hurston and Catherine Bauer.

Her more recent work turns to the flip-side of this modernity to examine what have become known as more "natural" or "rural" spaces. Looking to national parks and the American "frontier" as they are rendered by maps with accompanying text and modernist narrative techniques, Deirdre's more recent projects examine the notion of place as it defines what it is to be American and modern amidst the complex cultural upheavals of the early 20th century.

AMER/HUMA 261 Introduction to American Studies 
AMER/ENGL 323 The Harlem Renaissance 
AMER/ENGL 329 Literature of Service 
AMER 499 American Studies Research Project 
ENGL 150 Introduction to Literature 
ENGL 222 Modern Poetry 
ENGL 236 Survey of U.S. Literature 2 (1865 to the present) 
ENGL 318 The Modern American Novel