Faculty Profile


Jennifer McFarlane Harris

Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies

Email: mcfarlanehaj@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2037
Office: Marston 221

Education: BA, University of Redlands, 2002; MA, University of Michigan, 2003; PhD, University of Michigan, 2010
Specialties: American Literature (esp. African American and Multi-Ethnic Literatures), Gender Studies

Jennifer McFarlane Harris received her PhD in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. Her research explores the function of divinity in conversion narratives and theology making as self-constitutive. She regularly presents conference papers on Black women writers, novels about mixed-race identity, and religion in nineteenth-century American texts. Using intersectional and multidisciplinary analyses, Dr. McFarlane Harris incorporates diverse frameworks in her courses, from Critical Race Theory to global feminisms to musicology.

Selected Publications

  • Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Theologies of the Afterlife: A Step Closer to Heaven. Essay anthology, co-edited with Emily Hamilton-Honey. Forthcoming, Routledge, Research in American Literature and Culture Series. 
  • “‘Fishers of Men’: Understanding Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Poetry as Vocational Autobiography.” In Activism in the Name of God: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. Ed. Jami Carlacio. Forthcoming, University Press of Mississippi. 
  • “Pauline ‘Adoption’ Theology as Experiential Performance in the Memoirs of African American Itinerant Preacher Zilpha Elaw.” Performance, Religion, and Spirituality (Vol. 2, No. 1, 2019): 9-33. https://press.utoledo.edu/index.php/prs/article/view/273 
  • “Nationalism, Racial Difference and ‘Egyptian’ Meaning in Verdi’s Aida.” Coauthored with Christopher R. Gauthier. In Blackness in Opera. Ed. Naomi André, Karen Bryan, and Eric Saylor. University of Illinois Press, 2012. 55-77. 
  • “Verdi’s Disciplined Subjects: Radamès, Amneris, and the Power of the Panopticon.” Coauthored with Christopher R. Gauthier. Discourse of Sociological Practice 7.1 & 2 (Spring/Fall 2005): 103-114.