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Laura Stevens, PhD

Laura Stevens, PhD
Chapman Associate Professor of English
College of Arts & Sciences
English Language and Literature
918-631-2859 Zink Hall Room 341


PhD – University of Michigan MA – University of Michigan BA – Villanova University


Laura M. Stevens specializes in the literature of Britain, its colonies, and the Atlantic world from the mid-seventeenth through eighteenth centuries. She is especially interested in religious texts, emotion studies, women's writing, rhetorics of empire, and writings by or about indigenous peoples. Her first book, The Poor Indians, Native Americans, and Colonial Sensibility, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2004. She has completed a book manuscript titled "Friday's Tribe: Eighteenth-Century English Missionary Fantasies." Her work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, the John Carter Brown Library, the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, and the Oklahoma Humanities Council. She is a Past President of the Society of Early Americanists and the South-Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, she is a former Editor of Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, and she will be a Fulbright Scholar in Spring-Summer 2019 at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

Research Interests

The circulation of texts, genres, and ideas around the British Atlantic before 1800, particularly on depictions of colonized peoples
Women’s Literature
Religious Discourse
Emotion Studies

Teaching Interests

British, American, and Transatlantic Literature of the long Eighteenth Century
Contemporary Girls’ Adventure Stories


  • The Poor Indians: British Missionaries, Native Americans, and Colonial Sensibility (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, paperback 2006).

  • “‘What Do You Mean by Prayer?’: Emotion and Devotion in Thomas Wilson’s Essay Towards an Instruction of the Indians (1740).” In Faith through Feeling: Emotions and Christian Missions, 1600-1950, Claire McLisky & Karen Vallgårda, eds. (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming 2015; 7963 words).

  • (Co-Authored with Kristina Bross.) “Before Nation, Beyond Nation: The Place of ‘Early’ in
    Transnational American Studies.” Obama and Transnational American Studies, Alfred Hornung and Oliver Scheiding, eds. (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag, forthcoming 2015; 7313 words).

  • “The New Pilgrim’s Progress, The Female American, und die Entstehung narrativer Formen gegen die Erweckungsbewegung,” (“The New Pilgrim’s Progress, The Female American, and the Crafting of an Anti-Revivalist Narrative Form”) Erzählende und erzählte Aufklärung, (Narrating Enlightenment and Enlightenment Narrative) ed. Frauke Berndt and Daniel Fulda (Hamburg, Felix Meiner Verlag), forthcoming 2017.

  • Catherine Ingrassia, Authorship, Commerce, and Gender in Early Eighteenth-Century England: A Culture of Paper Credit and Laura Mandell, Misogynous Economies: The Business of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain, in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 18 (1999): 352-56.

  • Catherine Ingrassia, Authorship, Commerce, and Gender in Early Eighteenth-Century England: A Culture of Paper Credit and Laura Mandell, Misogynous Economies: The Business of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain, in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 18 (1999): 352-56.

  • Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write the History of the New World, in Itinerario 26 (2002): 102-04.

  • Hilary E. Wyss, Writing Indians: Literacy, Christianity, and Native Community in Early America, in The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography 26 (2000): 574-75.

  • David S. Shields and Carla Mulford, eds., Finding Colonial Americas: Essays Honoring J.A. Leo Lemay, in The East-Central Intelligencer 17.2 (May, 2003): 31-33.

  • Laura Lunger Knoppers, ed., Puritanism and Its Discontents, in Early American Literature 39 (2004): 399-405.

  • Carl Bridge and Kent Federowich, eds., The British World: Diaspora, Culture, and Identity, in The Journal of British Studies 44 (2005): 391-93.

  • Carla Gerona, Night Journeys: The Power of Dreams in Transatlantic Quaker Culture, in The Journal of British Studies 45 (2006): 643-44.

  • Albert Furtwangler, Bringing Indians to the Book, in History: Reviews of New Books 34 (2006): 79.

  • Mary Beth Norton, Separated by Their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World, in American Historical Review, 117.4 (October 2012), 1186-87.

  • Review of Kate Flint, The Transatlantic Indian, 1776-1930, in Symbiosis, December 2012.

  • “The Christian Origins of the Vanishing Indian.” In Mortal Remains: Death in Early America, Andrew Burstein & Nancy Isenberg, eds. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), 17-30.

  • “‘Gold for Glasse’: The Trope of Trade in English Missionary Writings.” In The Spiritual Conversion of the Americas, James Muldoon, ed. (Gainesville, FA: University Press of Florida, 2004), 231-51.

  • “Why Read Sermons? What Americanists Can Learn from the Sermons of the Society for the
    Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.” History Compass 3 (2005) NA 158, 1-19.

  • “Reading the Hermit’s Manuscript: The Female American and Female Robinsonades.” In Approaches to Teaching <u<Robinson Crusoe, Carl Fisher and Maximillian Novak, eds. (New York: Modern Language Association, 2005), 140-51.

  • “The Souls of Highlanders, the Salvation of Indians: Scottish Mission and Eighteenth-Century
    British Empire,” in Native Americans, Christianity, and the Reshaping of Early America’s Religious Landscape, Mark A. Nicholas & Joel Martin, eds. (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2010), 179-200.

  • “Owning Humanistic Evaluation: A Response to ‘Ranks, Brands, and the Editorial Process.'”
    The Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 42.3 (2011), 350-56.

  • The New Pilgrim’s Progress, Anglican Longings, and Eighteenth-Century Missionary Fantasies.” Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, 3 (2011), 57-84.

  • “‘Spare his life to save his soul’: Enthralled Lovers and Heathen Converts in ‘The Four Indian Kings Garland.'” In Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment, Toni Bowers & Tita Chico, eds. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 97-113.

  • “’Of snatching captive souls from satan’s paws’: A Fundraising Poem for Wheelock’s Charity
    School.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 107.3 (2013), 377-86.

  • “Healing a Whorish Heart: The Whore of Babylon and Protestant Interiority in Eighteenth-Century
    Britain.” In Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective, 1750-2000, Jonas Harvard & Yvonne Maria Werner, eds., European Studies 31 (2013), 71-84.

  • “The Traffic of Women: Oroonoko in an Atlantic Framework.” In Approaches to Teaching Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko,” Mary Ann O’Donnell & Cynthia Richards, eds. (New York: Modern Language Association, 2013), 71-77.

  • “Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson” and “Sarah Kemble Knight.” Bloomburg Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, Mark G. Spencer, ed. (New York: Thoemmes, 2014).

  • “Early America and the Public: Presidential Address for the Tenth Biennial Society of Early
    Americanists (SEA) Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2017.” Early American Literature, forthcoming.
    1599 words.

  • “Civility and Skepticism in the Woolston-Sherlock Debate over Miracles.” Eighteenth-Century Life 21 (1997): 57-70.

  • “Transatlanticism Now.” American Literary History, 16.1 (2004): 93-102.

  • “Eve and Her Daughters in England’s Long Eighteenth Century.” Religion in the Age of
    , forthcoming 6 (2015). 6457 words.

  • Friday’s Tribe: Eighteenth-Century British Missionary Fantasies (manuscript in progress).

  • Mothers of Israel: Biblical Women and Britain’s Boundaries, 1660-1783 (manuscript in progress).

  • “Missionary and Bible Tract Societies.” Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, Paul Finkelman, ed. (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005).

  • Prefaces to Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 25.1 (2006), 7-12. “Emotions” (issue co-edited with Holly Laird)

  • Prefaces to Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 27.1 (2008), 7-16. “Revisiting Female Authorship in the Long Eighteenth Century”

  • Prefaces to Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 26.1 (2007), 7-9. “The Silver Jubilee Issue: What We Have Done and Where We Are Going”

  • Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 29.2 (2010), 255-62. “On Peer Review”

  • Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30.2 (2011), 241-44. “Women and Periodicals.”

  • Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30.1 (2011), 7-14. “On Translation”

  • Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 31.1/2 (2012), 7-32. “Eighteenth-Century Women and English Catholicism.” (co-authored with Anna Battigelli).

  • Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature
    32.1 (2013), 7-16. “Getting What You Pay For? Open Access and the Future of Humanities

  • Prefaces to <isa Studies in Women’s Literature (2014), 9-17. “Transitions.”

  • “The Problem of Sympathy.” (Pedagogy Essay on Humanity in Algiers [1801]) Just Teach One, Common-Place (, January 2014).

Courses Taught

  • London in the Age of Queen Anne: Church, Crown, Conflict, and Culture
  • Special Topics in Modern Literature
  • Topics in European History

Awards & Honors

  • “Scotch & Smokes” Teaching Award
  • Mitglied (member), Internationalen Wissenschaftlichen Beirat (Member, International Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Presidential Prize
  • Essay Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa induction
  • Phi Kappa Phi induction
  • Outstanding Teacher Award