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Gena Chandler-Smith

Gena Chandler-Smith, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of the MA Program

Gena Chandler-Smith, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of the MA Program
Gena Chandler-Smith, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of the MA Program

Department of English
213 Shanks Hall 
181 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7796 | gechandl@vt.edu

Gena E. Chandler is an associate professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of the MA Program in English at Virginia Tech. She is a university award-winning teacher earning the 2015 Virginia Tech Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award, the 2015 College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 2007 Diggs Teaching Scholar Award for teaching excellence. Dr. Chandler’s research interests include African American literature, American literature, postcolonial literature, pedagogy, and critical literary theory. She has published articles on the work of Charles Johnson, including a piece in Texas Studies in Literature and Language and a piece in the edited collection Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher (2007). Her recent publications include an article in the journal Pedagogy ("Threat Assessment: Women of Color Teaching Ideological Critique in the Neoliberal Classroom"), and her book, The Wanderer in African American Literature was published in 2020 by The University of Tennessee Press.

  • African American Literature
  • American Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Literary Theory
  • Pedagogy
  • PhD, English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
  • MA, English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999
  • BA, English, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 1996
  • Director of Graduate Studies, English
  • Director of the MA Program
  • Virginia Tech Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award, 2015
  • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award, 2015
  • Diggs Teaching Scholar Award for teaching excellence, 2007
  • ICTAS Seed Grant Recipient, 2020
  • Niles Research Grant Recipient, 2021

Books

  • Chandler, Gena E. The Wanderer in African-American Literature. Knoxville: U of Tennessee Press, 2020.

Journal Articles

  • Chandler, Gena E. and Jennifer Sano-Franchini. “Threat Assessment: Women of Color Teaching Ideological Critique in the Neoliberal Classroom.” On Ideological Transparency, special edition of Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, edited by Daniel P. Richards and Louise Wetherbee Phelps, vol. 20, no. 1, February 2020, pp. 87-100.
  • Chandler, Gena E. “Mindfulness and Meaning in Charles Johnson’s Dr. King’s Refrigerator.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Austin: U of Texas P, 2013: 328-347.

Book Chapters

  • Chandler, Gena E. “Dreaming and Waking in Wonderland: Faith and the Good Thing and Charles Johnson’s Fairy Tale Fictions.” New Essays on the African American Novel: From Hurston and Ellison to Morrison and Whitehead. Eds. Lovalerie King and Linda F. Selzer. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2008: 75-93.
  • Chandler, Gena E. “‘In-Itself-for-Me’: Decomposition and Art in Charles Johnson’s Oxherding Tale.Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher. Eds. Marc C. Conner and William R. Nash. Jackson: U of Mississippi P, 2007: 20-39.
  • Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science HBCU Investment Seed Grant, $20,000, 2020.
  • Incentive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and Hispanic Serving Institutions, $2000, 2018.
  • HBCU/MSI Program Grant, CLAHS, $5000, 2018.
  • Summer Humanities Research Stipend, Virginia Tech; $4000. “Foraging the Word: Story and Being in Contemporary African American Fiction,” 2006.
    * Proposal chosen as representative from Virginia Tech to compete in the 2006 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend Competition
  • ENGL 2644 & 3634: African American Literature
  • ENGL 3644:  Postcolonial Novel
  • ENGL 5164:  Black American Literature
  • ENGL 5474:  Teaching Literature
  • ENGL 4784: Senior Seminar
  • FAMU/VT HBCU MSI Partnership—Designed to increase numbers of underrepresented students in English graduate programs and other humanities programs
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Accepting new graduate students

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