Victoria PapaDr. Victoria Papa

Assistant Professor, English/Communications


About Me

Always learning. As a professor, I enter the classroom with such a mindset: eager to learn alongside my students as our class unfolds. I view the study of literature as well as other kinds of “texts”—visual art, new media, music—as a creative act in and of itself. In my courses, students engage in a dynamic dialogue with a diverse set of storytellers and critics: speaking to, with, and back at them. I assure my students that because we all have unique and ever-evolving lives, perspectives, and voices, each and every interaction with a text holds the potential for new and powerful insights.

Description of Special Projects/Activities

I have designed several innovative courses that incorporate new media and visual culture in the classroom including a digital humanities, service-learning course with Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive. I have worked as an editorial assistant for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society as well as DHCommons. Currently, I serve as an editor of MCLA’s The Mind’s Eye, A Liberal Arts Journal. Prior to my academic career, I worked in radio advertising.

Research/Creative Interests

My teaching and research areas include 20th Century and Contemporary Multiethnic Literatures, Trauma Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Visual Culture, and New Media. In particular, my research is interested in the relationship between creativity and the survival of trauma—not only trauma rooted in specific events but also “everyday” traumas linked to oppression. My book project, The Invention of Survival: Time and the Transformation of Trauma in American Modernist Literature, examines a temporal link between creativity and survival in modernist writing concerned with race, gender, and sexuality. Through an analysis of modernist aesthetics that call forth an immersive reading experience, my study highlights the radical potential of reading as an empathic act in which stories of survival may live on in the present moment. Beyond this project, I am currently at work on an article about contemporary modes of mourning in Anne Carson’s mixed-media elegy, Nox (2010).


"Embodied Haunting: Aesthetics and the Archive in Toni Morrison's Beloved" in Madness in Black Women's Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance and the Practice of Diaspora. Ed. Caroline Brown and Johanna Garvey. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (forthcoming 2017)

“Something In between, Something So Deeply Swaying: Contemporary Modes of Mourning in Anne Carson’s Nox." (in preparation for College Literature)

Review of Rebecca Walsh. The Geopoetics of Modernism. Literature and History. May 2017.


"Economies of Loss: Elegy at Gift in Anne Carson's Nox," Modern Language Association, New York City, upcoming, January 2018

"Diagnosing Modernism: Then and Now," Seminar Organizer, Modernist Studies Association 19, Amsterdam, August 2017

"Back and Forth: Elliptical Motion and Queer Time in Richard Bruce Nugent's Smoke, Lillies, and Jade," Panel: Queerness as a Border State, Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, November 2016

Contact Information

Office: Mark Hopkins 103B




Ph.D., Northeastern University, 2016

M.A., University of Albany, SUNY, 2006

B.A., Saint Anselm College, 2005


Course Taught

ENGL 150: College Writing (Fall 2017)

ENGL 250: Introduction to Literature (Fall 2017)

New Modernisms (Spring 2018)

Multiethnic Literature & Studies (Spring 2018)