Acting Chair, English and Communication
Professor of English
Dr. Howe completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Riverside in 1991, specializing in Victorian literature, the gothic novel, and the Victorian author Wilkie Collins. Her dissertation was titled Writing a Book in Company: The Collaborative Works of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Dr. Howe joined the La Sierra University faculty in fall 1991.
Dr. Howe teaches courses in Dickens, Romantic and Victorian literature, children’s and young adult literature, and Southwest literature.
Current Research Projects
Dr. Howe is continuing to work on projects that she began during her spring 2006 sabbatical. Among these is an article on the Maine regionalist author C. A. Stephens, detailing his treatment of events like the Dark Day and the Night the Stars Fell.
Recent Publications and Presentations
Dr. Howe made five conference presentations last year:
In August, Howe attended the International Popular Culture Conference in Swansea, Wales. Her paper, entitled “Monsters in the Ice: Frankenstein and The Frozen Deep,” considered Mary Shelley’s work as one of the sources for Wilkie Collins’ play, noting the monster-like description of The Frozen Deep’s antagonist and the fact that both protagonist and antagonist spend time in the arctic wastes, an experience that casts doubt on whether either individual will be able to survive.
In October, Howe presented “Harry Potter Moves Right; or, Christian Fantasy Fights Back,” at a conference held at the University of California, Riverside. Howe focused on the work of G. P. Taylor (often touted as the Christian alternative to Harry Potter), examining the very real problems present in his fantasy fiction.
Howe examined another aspect of Harry Potter at the combined meetings of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association in April 2006. Many critics have cited Harry Potter as a modern example of the British school novel. “Making the Grades, Making the Grade: Life at School and After” compared books by Thomas Hughes and Rudyard Kipling with the Harry Potter series, considering whether or not the school experience prepared students for life after graduation.
In May, Howe made a presentation on C. S. Lewis at a UCR conference, sponsored by the Department of English and other academic entities. She noted connections between The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (part of the Narnia series) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Voyage of the Ancient Mariner.”
Howe presented “School Snapshots: C. A. Stephens and the Educational Dream” at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in June. Stephens reflected contemporary American culture as his characters seek an education in order to improve their lives. He points out, however, that education does not guarantee the wisdom required make right choices.
In addition to Howe’s presentations, Hollywood’s West: The American Frontier in Film, Television, and History, published in Fall 2005, contained a chapter by Howe. “Almost Angels, Almost Feminists—Women in The Professionals” examined film stereotypes of western women, the roles of women in a specific film, and drew connections to Victorian concepts and presentations of women. (An earlier version of this chapter, “Professional Women—Women in The Professionals,” was published in the journal Film & History in 2003.)