Leah Blatt Glasser
Associate Dean of Studies Dean of the Senior Class; Lecturer in English
American literature, late nineteenth through early twentieth centuries; women writers; nature writing; women's autobiography and biography
Leah Blatt Glasser teaches courses in nineteenth- through twentieth-century American literature, women writers, biography, autobiography, and creative and expository writing. Glasser's writing seminars become workshops in which students read each other's works and learn to develop an ear for effective strategies in analytical, persuasive, and descriptive writing. She also enjoys teaching seminars in which students actively participate in discussion about literature in connection to other disciplines, such as environmental studies, women's studies, and American history. Glasser's seminars often focus on works by or about women. She encourages students to understand the context for the history of women's lives and works and to consider its relationship to their own experiences as women of the twenty-first century.
Glasser is the author of In a Closet Hidden: The Life and Work of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, a literary biography of the late nineteenth-century New England writer whose short stories and novels focused on the psychology of women's lives at the turn of the century. The book, which establishes Freeman's significance in the field of American literature and women's studies, was described in American Literature as an "eloquent testimony to Freeman's self-division . . . illuminating the darker corners of her experience and bringing the complexities of Freeman's feminism to light."
Glasser is currently working on a new manuscript that will build on a course she teaches on nature and gender in American literature. The new work, "A Landscape of One's Own: Nature Writing and Women's Autobiography," will study women who chose to tell the stories of their lives in the context of the islands, forests, prairies, and deserts of the United States. Glasser is also preparing a new course on the theme of gender and war in American literature.
In addition to her scholarly and teaching endeavors, Glasser works closely with first-year students and their faculty advisers as the dean of first-year studies. In this capacity, Glasser focuses on listening well and offering advisees academic guidance as they shape their education at Mount Holyoke.
- In a Closet Hidden: The Life and Work of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (University of Massachusetts Press, 1996).
- "She Is the One You Call Sister: Discovering Mary E. Wilkins Freeman," in Between Women ed. Ascher, DeSalvo, and Ruddick (Routledge Press, 1994).
- Contributing Editor to The Heath Anthology of American Literature and Teaching Guidelines, Heath, 1997.
- "MHC's Glasser on Teaching Students to Succeed", Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2009
- "We Must Teach Students to Fail Well," Office of Communications, April 29, 2009
- "American Literature and Korean Landscape," Office of Communications, August 16, 2007
- "Glasser Writes about Author's 'Hidden' Life," College Street Journal, October 11, 1996