Sarah Berry

Visiting Assistant Professor


311 Marano Campus Center

Office hours

Tuesday & Thursday
2:30 - 3:45
or by appointment

Classes taught


ENG 198 TR 2:20-3:40
ENG 265/810 MWF 1:50-2:45 142 Marano CC
ENG 265/830 MWF 3:00-3:55 142 Marano CC
HON 204/810 TR 12:45-2:05 314 Park Hall

ENG 198 FIRST YEAR SIGNATURE COURSE: VICTORIA MONTERS-What do Frankenstein’s creature, Dracula, mad scientists like Dr. Jekyll, and underground Morlock societies tell us about the collision of culture and science in Victorian society? Monsters take the shape of the fears and desires of the society in which they are invented. They provide a window into the “sides” of some key debates that emerged in the nineteenth century about medical research ethics; disease control; and the treatment of addiction and mental illness. We will read Frankenstein, Dracula, The Time Machine, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and pay attention to social contexts such as the place of women, the working class, and immigrants as these debates unfold and take on the terrifying forms of monsters. The monsters of the nineteenth century, a great age of scientific advancement and social reform, are still with us in fiction, on the screen, and in news stories about science and technology. We will use techniques of literary and cultural analysis to think critically about what monsters tell us about ourselves.

ENG 265 SOPHOMORE SEMINAR: U.S. American Literature and the Body Politic-This course examines on one hand the ways in which bodies have historically signified belonging or exclusion and, on the other hand, the ways in which the new nation imagined itself politically as a metaphorical body. Literature was pivotal in charting the course of American identity after the Revolution; during the nineteenth century, people living in the new nation negotiated who counted as a citizen and according to what criteria. Frequently, these criteria were based on perceived bodily differences among people living within U.S. borders. We will examine four key texts of different genres in their social/historical contexts to discover the diverse ways in which bodies (literal and figurative) and politics (representational strategies mediated through language, as well as electoral politics) make up the notion of American selfhood—a selfhood that has been drawn along lines of gender, race, sexuality, and health/disease, as our engagement with critical theory will show. We’ll look closely at gothic and detective fiction by Edgar Allan Poe; a slave narrative by Harriet Jacobs; and lyric poetry by Walt Whitman. Last, we’ll consider the legacy of nineteenth-century body politics through an innovative twenty-first-century text, the graphic novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.


HON 204 HONORS; WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE:Stories of Illness and Healing-This course explores narrative techniques and representational strategies (such as metaphors and aspects of graphic illustration) in stories about illness and healing by diverse writers. Through readings in a range of genres (drama, poetry, short stories, memoirs and personal essays, and graphic memoirs) we will examine, on one hand, how illness and healing experiences are structured and circulated as stories embedded in specific cultural worldviews, and, on the other, how stories mediate the socially diverse experiences of illness and healing. In other words, illness/healing are shaped by language and story, and stories partly shape illness and healing processes. You will learn basic techniques of narrative analysis, including close reading skills, in order to interpret texts such as Edson, W;t; Small, Stitches; Meri Danquah, Willow Weep for Me; Forney, Marbles; short stories; and the self- and cultural-examination essays in On Immunity.