Virginia Tech® home

Virginia Fowler

Virginia Fowler, Emerita Professor

Virginia Fowler, Emeritus Professor | Virginia Tech
Virginia Fowler, Emerita Professor

Department of English

Educated at the University of Kentucky and the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Fowler is a Professor of English, where she directs undergraduate studies in English.  She teaches courses in African-American literature, in women writers, and in the fiction of Toni Morrison.. She is currently an associate producer of a documentary film about Nikki Giovanni, which is being made by the Rada Film Group.

  • The Fiction of Henry James
  • American Literature
  • Victorian Literature
  • African-American Literature
  • The Fiction of Toni Morrison
  • Nikki Giovanni's Poetry
  • The Black Arts Movement
  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (1976); M.A. University of Pittsburgh (1971); B.A., University of Kentucky (1969).
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, 2014- .
  • Director of Literature and Language, 2013-17, 2019-
  • Director of Literature, Language, and Culture, 2002-11
  • Director of Graduate Studies, 1985-91
  • Associate Department Head,1986-91
  • Vice President, Phi Beta Kappa, 2012-13; President, 2013-14; Treasurer, 2014-
  • Faculty Member, Presidential Global Scholars, 2013-14
  • Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, 2002-05 (Chair 2004-05); 2017-20
  • Commission on Student Affairs, 2003-06
  • University Council, 2004-05
  • Editorial Board, Henry James Review, 1985-87
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Gloria Naylor
  • CLAHS Faculty Council, 2005-08; 2015-16
  • Academy of Faculty Service
  • CLAHS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising
  • CLAHS Diversity Award
  • Department of English Diversity Award
  • Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction, Appalachian Heritage, 2009


  • Nikki Giovanni: A Literary Biography. Praeger, 2013.
  • Gloria Naylor: In Search of Sanctuary.  Twayne/Macmillan, 1996
  • Nikki Giovanni.  Twayne/Macmillan, 1992.
  • Henry James's American Girl: The Embroidery on the Canvas. U of Wisconsin, 1984
  • Conversations With Nikki Giovanni (ed.).  The University Press of Mississippi, 1992.

Journal Articles

  • "'Tennessean by Birth'." Appalachian Heritage: A Literary Quarterly of the Southern  Appalachians. 40.4 (2012): 14-22.
  • "A Nikki Giovanni Chronology." Appalachian Heritage: A Literary Quarterly of the Southern Appalachians. 40.4 (2012): 51-62.
  • “Nikki Giovanni’s Appalachian Ties.” Appalachian Heritage 36, 3 (2008): 42-50.

Book Chapters

  • “A Conversation With Gloria Naylor.”  In Gloria Naylor: In Search of Sanctuary; rpt. in Conversations With Gloria Naylor, ed. Maxine Lavon Montgomery, pp. 123-37.: University Press of Mississippi, 2004.
  • “‘And This Poem Recognizes That’: Embracing Contrarieties in the Poetry of Nikki Giovanni.”  In Her Words: Diverse Voices in Contemporary Appalachian Women’s Poetry, ed. by Felicia Mitchell, pp. 112-35.  University of Tennessee Press, 2002.

Other Creative Works

  • "Listening With Her Heart." In Grand Mothers: A Multicultural Anthology of Poems, Reminiscences, and Short Stories About the Keepers of Our Traditions, ed. Nikki Giovanni, 6-9.  New York: Henry Holt, 1994. Reprinted for use by the Michigan Educational Assessment Program High School Pilot Test.  Lansing: State of Michigan Department of Education, 1999.

Featured Books

Select Media Mentions