Elif Armbruster, PhD

Associate Professor, English

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  • PhD, Boston University
  • MA, University of Maine
  • BA, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges (English and French)

Research Interests

  • American Realism (1870-1920)
  • American Domestic Architecture
  • Material Culture Studies
  • Women’s Literature
  • Ethnic Literature
  • American Autobiography and Biography



  • Domestic Biographies: Stowe, Howells, James, and Wharton at Home. New York: Peter Lang, 2011.

Essays and Book Chapters

  • Armbruster, E. (2020). Teaching the #MeToo Memoir: Creating Empathy In the First Year College Classroom. In Mary Holland and Heather Hewett (Ed.), #MeToo and Literary Studies: Reading, Teaching, and Writing about Sexual Violence and Rape Culture. London: Bloomsbury U. K..
  • Armbruster, E. (2020). "Reading in Three Dimensions: Using Material Culture to Teach The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence". In Ferda Asya (Ed.), Teaching Edith Wharton's Major Novels and Short Fiction (pp. 15). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Armbruster, E. (2019). "A Wilder Approach: Recovering Laura Ingalls Wilder in 2017". Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Volume 36(No. 1 (2019)), 132-135. https://legacywomenwriters.org/current-issue/upcoming-issue/
  • Armbruster, E. (2020). "Ants Become Giants: The Pioneering Perspective of Laura Ingalls in the Little House Books". In Dewey Hall and Jillmarie Murphy (Eds.), Gendered Ecologies: New Materialist Interpretations of Women Writers in the Long Nineteenth Century (pp. 25). Clemson, South Carolina: Clemson University Press & Oxford University Press.
  • Armbruster, E. (2019). "Dwelling in American Realism". In Keith Newlin (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Realism (pp. 25). New York: Oxford UP.
  • Armbruster, E. (2019). "'More Than Grassy Hills': Land, Perspective, and Female Identity in Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder". In Anne Phillips and Miranda Green-Barteet (Eds.), Reconsidering Laura Ingalls Wilder: Little House and Beyond (June 2019 ed., pp. 20). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi in conjunction with the Children's Literature Association.
  • Armbruster, E. (2017). "'Like Patterns Stenciled on a Wall': Edith Wharton's Decoration of Fictional Houses". In Myrto Drizou (Ed.), Edith Wharton: Critical Insights (pp. 81-95). Ipswich MA: Salem Press.
  • Armbruster, E. (2017). "A Biography of Edith Wharton". In Myrto Drizou (Ed.), Edith Wharton: Critical Insights (pp. xxix-xxxvi). Ipswich, MA: Salem Press.

Introductions to Trade Edition Classics

  • "Introduction," "Chronology," "Notes," and "Based on the Book," in Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin(1852). Reprint; New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2012.
  • "Introduction," in Edith Wharton, Summer (1917). Reprint; New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2006.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Henry Goings', Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery, ed. Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor. Nineteenth Century Studies (December 2013).
  • Review of MOM: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America, Rebecca Jo Plant, Journal of Popular Culture, (March 2011).

Work in Progress

  • Sisters by Design: The Intertwined Lives of Edith Wharton, Minnie Jones, and Beatrix Farrand.
  • "Swamps and Orange Trees": Race and Reconstruction in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Palmetto Leaves."
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Courses Taught

  • WRI-101 First-Year Writing I
  • WRI-102 First-Year Writing II
  • ENG-161 Writing the American West
  • ENG-216/ENG-135 World Literature in English
  • ENG-217 American Literature I: 1492-1865
  • ENG-301 Gateway Seminar for Majors: Edith Wharton in Life and Literature
  • ENG-301 Seminar in Literary Criticism: Women Writing the American West
  • ENG-353 Dwelling in American Realism
  • ENG-380 James and Wharton
  • ENG-387 Writing Women
  • ENG-422 Women Warriors: Stories of Captivity, Conversion, and Confession
  • ENG-424 House of Wits: Alice, Henry, and William James
  • ENG-510 Independent Study in English
  • ENG-H525 Honors Seminar: Latina Literature
  • AMST-111 Introduction to American Studies
  • SF-148 No Place Like Home: The American Home as a Cultural Symbol
  • SF-1135/H1135 Women Warriors: Strong Women, Strong Stories
  • SF-1163 Literary Witches and Wizards
  • WGS-111 Introduction to Women's Studies