Laura E. Rotunno, Ph.D.

Laura E. Rotunno
Associate Professor, English
Coordinator, Honors Program
Hawthorn Building, 210

Laura Rotunno received her MA and Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Her research and teaching interests include nineteenth-century British literature, the novel, narrative theory, cultural studies, and genre and gender studies. "The Long History of 'In Short': Mr. Micawber, Letter-Writers, and Literary Men," an article that foregrounds her interest in nineteenth-century correspondence customs, appears in Victorian Literature and Culture. Her book Postal Plots in British Fiction 1840-1898: Readdressing Correspondence in Victorian Culture was published by Palgrave in 2013. Her current project investigates late-nineteenth-century novels that explore female athletes and academics; her two most recent articles concerning this topic can be found in Victorian Review and Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies.

  • British Literature and Culture
  • 19th British Cultural History
  • The Novel
  • Genre and Narratology
  • New Woman Fiction
  • 19th British Education and Athleticism

“University Education.” The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, edited by Lesa Scholl. 3 May 2020,

“Trial and Success: A Non-DH Savvy Professor Adopts COVE.” COVE: Central Online Victorian Educator, Teaching Section. 9 Aug. 2019,

“What Being a Professional Bodybuilder Taught Me about Gaining Tenure.” Times Higher Education, 2 June 2018,

“What If the New Woman Is a Scholar-Athlete Too?” Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, Spring 2017.

“Trained Bodies.” Victorian Review, vol. 42, no.1, Spring 2016. pp. 37-43.

“Writing on the Frontlines of Public Memory: English and History Undergraduates Contributing to the Flight 93 Oral History Project.” Co-written with Douglas Page. Pedagogies of Public Memory: Teaching Writing and Rhetoric at Museums, Archives, and Memorials, edited by Jane Greer and Laurie Grobman, Routledge, 2015. pp. 135-46. Studies in Rhetoric and Communication Ser.

Postal Plots in British Fiction, 1840-1898: Readdressing Correspondence in Victorian Culture, Palgrave, 2013, 224 pps. Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture.

"Blackfriars: The Post Office Magazine, A Nineteenth-Century Network of 'The Happy Ignorant.'" Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 44, no. 2, Summer 2011, pp. 141-64.

"Writers of Reform and Reforming Writers in Aurora Leigh and A Writer of Books." Gender and Victorian Reform, edited by Anita Rose, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008, pp. 58-72.

"E-Writing: Expository Writing Exploring the Electronic." From Hip Hop to Hyperlinks: Teaching about Culture in the Composition Classroom, edited by Joanna N. Paull, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008, pp. 252-73.

"User Ids: Email Novels and the Search for Identity." a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 21, no. 2, Summer 2006, pp. 70-82.

"'This alone would drive me to despair': The Position of Anselm in Robert Browning's 'The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed's Church.'" Browning Society Notes, vol. 31, March 2006, pp. 22-34.

"The Long History of 'In Short': Mr. Micawber, Letter-Writers, and Literary Men." Victorian Literature and Culture, vol. 33, no. 2, 2005, pp. 415-33.

"Novel Expectations to Novel Evaluations." Academic Exchange Quarterly vol. 9, no. 1, Spring 2005, pp. 89-92.

Ph.D. in English: August 2003
The University of Missouri at Columbia
Dissertation: "Readdressed: Correspondence Culture and Nineteenth-Century British Fiction"

MA in English: December 1998
The University of Missouri at Columbia
Thesis: "Horror-Struck, Silence-Stricken: The Gothic and Epistolary within Frankenstein, Melmoth the Wanderer, and Dracula"

B.A. Summa cum laude in English and German, and Concentration in Philosophy: May 1994
The University of Nebraska at Kearney