English and Creative Writing

Tracy McCabe

Tracy McCabe

Senior Lecturer in English



PhD English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August, 1994: minor in Afro-American Studies and Women’s Studies
MA English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988
AB with high honors, English, Princeton University, 1985

Courses Taught

English 440: Senior Writing Seminar
English 330: Advanced Nonfiction Writing
English 307: Austen, Wharton, Woolf
English 235: Introduction to Creative Writing
English 226: Memoir as Literature
English 225: Women and Literature
English 217: African American Literature II
English 216: African American Literature I
English 205: Twentieth Century American Literature
English 110: Introduction to Literary Studies
English 100: English Composition
Communication 420: Senior Seminar in Communication and Cultural Studies
Women’s Studies 252: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Women’s Studies 300: Feminist Controversies
American Studies 200/480 (co-taught): American Families
American Studies 110: Introduction to American Studies
Research 180 (the Richter Seminar): Ways of Knowing
First-Year Studies: Performing Gender
First-Year Studies: Women, the Arts, and Chicago

Selected Publications


“The Multifaceted Politics of Primitivism in Harlem Renaissance Writing.”  Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 80.4 (Winter 1997): 401-23. Special Harlem Renaissance issue. 

Rev. of What Else But Love?: The Ordeal of Race in Faulkner and Morrison, by Philip M. Weinstein.  MELUS (journal of the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States) 24.2 (Summer 1999): 192-4.

With Nellie McKay. “African American Prose Writers.”  Women’s Studies Encyclopedia. Rev. and exp. Helen Tierney. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. 49-52.

“Yearning: Race. Gender, and Cultural Politics (1990): Essay Collection by Bell Hooks.” Entry in  The African American Encyclopedia. Supplement. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996.

“Avenging Angel: Tragedy and Womanhood in Julia Ward Howe’s The World’s Own.”  Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 12.2 (1995): 23-36.

“Teaching in the Promised Land: Ideals and Limits in Feminist Pedagogy.” Rev. of  Teaching to Transgress, by Bell Hooks, and  The Feminist Classroom, by Frances A. Maher and Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault.”  Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women’s Studies Resources 17.1 (Fall 1995): 5-7.


“Chaos and Composition” [creative nonfiction].  Amoskeag 23.1 (Spring 2006): 7-9.

Rev. of Critical Gestures: Writings on Dance and Culture, by Ann Daly.  Ms. Summer 2003: 91-92.

“Confessions of a Scrounging Scholar.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 18, 2001: B5.

Rev. of Crossing: A Memoir, by Deirdre McCloskey.  World: The Journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association 14.4 (July/August 2000): 44-5.

“Stranger in a Strange Land: Teaching Literature in a Creative Writing Program.”  Beacon Street Review. Spring 2000.

“The Story of Her Own Life: Two Historical Novels with Unitarian Heroines.”  World: The Journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association. 14.3 (May/June 2000): 28-33.


“Jamaica Kincaid’s  The Autobiography of My Mother and the Limits of Feminist Criticism.” Midwestern Conference on Film, Language, and Literature. University of Northern Illinois. DeKalb, IL, March 1999.

“Directions in Multicultural Modernist Studies: Scenes of ‘Facing’ in  Kumtlerromane by H.D. and Nella Larsen.” Twentieth-Century Literature Conference. University of Louisville. Louisville, KY, February, 1996.

“Multicultural Modernism and the Resistance of Primitivism: The Case of Home to Harlem.” Harvard University. Cambridge, MA, January, 1996.

“Resisting Primitivism: Race, Gender, and Power in Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance.” Modern Language Association. Chicago, December, 1995.

“Reconstructive and Deconstructive Impulses in Feminist Thought: Female Identity in Audre Lorde’s  Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.” Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Blacksburg, VA, May, 1995.

“Africa, Maternity, and Primitivist Discourse.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Chicago, Nov., 1994.

“Whose Laugh Is It Anyway?: Race, Gender, and Primitivism in Sherwood Anderson’s  Dark Laughter.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Chicago, November, 1994.

“Avenging Angel: Feminist Readings of Julia Ward Howe’s  The World’s Own.” Invited Speaker. Dramaturgy Colloquium, School of Theatre, Florida State University. Tallahassee, October, 1994.

“Avenging Angel: Tragedy, Womanhood, and Representation in Julia Ward Howe’s The World’s Own.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Minneapolis, MN, November, 1993.

“Negotiating Ideologies in the Oppositional Primitivism of Claude McKay’s  Home to Harlem.” Twentieth-Century Literature Conference. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, February, 1993.

“Thimble of Everything’: Experimental Lesbian Aesthetics in a Steinian Poem-Portrait.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Chicago, November, 1991.

“Postmodernism and Feminism in Gabrielle Burton’s  Heartbreak Hotel.” University of Wisconsin-System Women’s Studies Conference. Whitewater, WI, October, 1990.

“‘Give Virgin Lips to Cornfield Concubines’: Voiceless Women and Virgin Artists in Part One of Jean Toomer’s  Cane.” Midwest Feminist Graduate Students’Conference. Madison, WI, February, 1990.

Recent Conference Presentations

“Reading and Writing Segmented Essays.” National Council of Teachers of English. Philadelphia, November, 2009. Co-presenter.

“When the Beacon Dims: Mental Illness, Spirituality, and Unitarian Universalism.” North Shore Unitarian Church, Deerfield, IL, September 2006. Rpt. at Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Grayslake, IL, December, 2006.

“The Politics of Racial Identity.” Conference on “The Future of the Harlem Renaissance.” Knoxville, Tennessee, March 1997. Panel chair.

“Intersections of Collaborative Teaching and Learning: A Workshop.” College English Association. New Orleans, April, 1996. Co-facilitator.

“The Intersection of Race and Gender in the Curriculum.” Symposium on Curricular, Pedagogical and Research

Issues in Racial/Ethnic Studies. University of Wisconsin-System Institute on Race and Ethnicity. Madison, April, 1995. Invited Speaker.

“Feminist Negotiations of Institutional Space: A Dissertation Group in Theory and Practice.” Florida Women’s Studies Conference. Tallahassee, October, 1994. Co-presenter.


University League Award for Excellence in the Humanities, awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Women’s Studies Program, 1994

Jacob Javits Fellowship in the Humanities, formerly National Graduate Fellowship, from U.S. Dept. of Education, 1991-1992, 1987-1990

Written and Oral Preliminary Exams for the Ph.D. passed with distinction, 1990

University of Wisconsin-Madison Prize Fellowship, awarded to ten incoming graduate students in the Humanities, declined, 1987

Sacks Award for best senior thesis in American Literature, Princeton University. Thesis title: “Masked Woman’s Song’: The Constrained Art of Louise Bogan,” directed by Elaine Showalter, 1985

Phi Beta Kappa, Princeton University, 1985