9 September 2022 • Faculty Endowed Professor Spotlight: Anna Creadick

Professor of English Anna Creadick, who holds the George E. Paulsen ’49 Professorship, is an interdisciplinary scholar of 20th century U.S. literature and culture. 

Creadick, who joined the English Department in 2001, enjoys inhabiting the borders between disciplines. Working to cultivate interdisciplinarity across the institution, she has contributed to the American Studies, Women’s Studies, LGBT Studies, Critical Social Studies, and First Year Seminar programs. Her research centers on difference and belonging in 20th century U.S. literature and culture, especially in the post-World War II period.  With essays on subjects like William Faulkner’s class-conscious midcentury readers, Willa Cather’s scholarly reputation, and midcentury “middlebrow” authorship, Creadick works to understand not just books, but the writers who produce them and the readers who consume them.

Anna Creadick portrait

“I feel fortunate to have been able flourish at HWS, where our academic freedom and nimble curriculum allow for a regenerative relationship between what we study and what we teach,” says Creadick, who was awarded the Paulsen Professorship beginning July 1. “I am deeply grateful to the donors and to my faculty peers for nominating me for this honor, which feels like a vote of confidence in my work.”

Created and supported through the generosity of numerous alums and friends, endowed professorships underwrite the work of faculty in recognition of exceptional teaching and research. The funding supports increased opportunities and resources for scholarship and academic initiatives.

Creadick’s current work has turned toward the cultural history of Appalachia and the U.S. South.  “I am working on a new series of essays on topics that let me untangle the persistent knot of gender, race, sex, class and region. The Paulsen Professorship is perfectly timed to support the sometimes unpredictable range of research methodologies I need to use to understand how history, culture and the lived experiences of everyday people intersect.”  Her courses include Southern Fictions, Sexuality and American Literature, Cultural Theory, and Popular Fiction.

Creadick is the author of the book Perfectly Average: The Pursuit of Normality in Postwar America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010). Her research and reviews have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Southern Cultures, Legacy, Mosaic and the Journal of American History, among others. She earned her B.A. in English and education from Appalachian State University, her master’s in American studies from Boston College and her Ph.D. in English/American studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.