Critical Essays (Selected)

Most academic essays sit behind a paywall, accessible to readers with college or university library affiliation, and so it is only for a few early publications on this list that I can provide a text. Where I do, it is because, to the best of my ability, I can find no available paywall source or, in the case of one item, the book in which the essay appears is no longer in print or available online.

That said, if you are looking for any of these essays to use for educational purposes and/or in your own research, and do not have a college or university library affiliation, please e-mail me at marjoriepryse1 [at] gmail [dot] com and I will send you a copy.

Selected essays:

“Inner Duration against Chronological Time: Graphing Memory in Faulkner’s Benjy Section,” Faulkner Journal 25.1 (2009), 15-46

 “Linguistic Regionalism and the Emergence of Chinese American Literature in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance,” Legacy 27:1 (2010), 83-108

“Signifyin(g) on Reparation in Toni Morrison’s Jazz,” American Literature  80 (September 2008): 583-609; Signifyin(g) on Reparation in Toni Morrison’s Jazz | American Literature | Duke University Press (

 “Stowe and Regionalism,” in Cindy Weinstein, ed., Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 131-53; Cambridge companion harriet beecher stowe | American literature | Cambridge University Press

“Literary Regionalism and Global Capital: Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women Writers,”  special editor, Shirley Geok Lin Lim, “Feminist Transnationalisms,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 23:1 (Spring 2004), 65-89; Literary Regionalism and Global Capital: Nineteenth-Century US Women Writers (

“Sex, Class, and ‘Category Crisis’: Reading Jewett’s Transitivity,” in Cathy N. Davidson and Jessamyn Hatcher, eds., No More Separate Spheres! (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002), 149-79; reprinted from American Literature 70:3 (Fall 1998); Duke University Press – No More Separate Spheres! (

“‘I was country when country wasn’t cool’: Regionalizing the Modern in Jewett’s A Country Doctor,” American Literary Realism 34:3 (Spring 2002), 217-32

“Exploring Contact: Regionalism and the ‘Outsider’ Standpoint in Mary Noailles Murfree’s Appalachia,” Legacy 17:2 (2000), 199-212

“Trans/Feminist Methodology: Bridges to Interdisciplinary Thinking,” NWSA Journal 12:2 (2000), 105-118

“Critical Interdisciplinarity, Women’s Studies, and Cross-Cultural Insight,” NWSA Journal 10:1 (1998), 1-22      

“Origins of Literary Regionalism: Gender in Irving, Stowe, and Longstreet,” in Sherrie Inness and Diana Royer, eds., Breaking Boundaries: New Perspectives on Regional Writing (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1997), pp. 17-37; Breaking Boundaries | University of Iowa Press (

“Affective Teaching for Our Lives: Singing in the Feminist Theory Classroom,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 25, Nos. 1 & 2, 174-82; Twenty-Fifth Anniversary reprint of article that originally appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly 22, Nos. 1 & 2, 26-34                                         

“‘Outgrown Friends,’ by Sarah Orne Jewett,” archival manuscript edited with introduction, New England Quarterly 69:3 (1996), 461-72

“Archives of Female Friendship and the ‘Way’ Jewett Wrote,” New England Quarterly 66:1 (1993), 47-66

“‘Distilling Essences’: Regionalism and ‘Women’s Culture,’” American Literary Realism 25:2 (1993), 1-15

“Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and the ‘Ancient Power’ of  Black Women,” Introduction to Marjorie Pryse and Hortense J. Spillers, eds., Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition (University of Illinois Press, 1985), 1-24; [Conjuring (]

“‘Pattern Against the Sky’: Deism and Motherhood in Ann Petry’s  The Street,” in Marjorie Pryse and Hortense J. Spillers, eds., Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition (University of Illinois Press, 1985), 116-131; [Conjuring (]       

“Women ‘At Sea’: Sarah Orne Jewett’s ‘The Foreigner,’” American Literary Realism 15:2 (1982), 244-52; reprinted in Gwen L. Nagel, ed., Critical Essays on Sarah Orne Jewett (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1984)

“Introduction” to Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (New York: W. W. Norton, 1981), v-xx;

“Miniaturizing Yoknapatawpha: The Unvanquished as Faulkner’s Theory of Realism,” Mississippi Quarterly 33 (1980), 343-54

“Lust for Audience: An Interpretation of Othello,” ELH 43:4 (1976), 461-78

“Ralph Ellison’s Heroic Fugitive,” American Literature 46:1 (1974), 1-15