Saint Louis University

Emily Lutenski, Ph.D.

Emily Lutenski    

Emily Lutenski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of American Studies

(314) 977-3516

Adorjan Hall 110
3800 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108










Ph.D. in English and Women's Studies, University of Michigan (2008)
M.A. in English Language and Literature, University of Michigan (2003)
B.A. with majors in English and Women's Studies, University of California at Berkeley (2000)


Emily's research focuses on 20th-century American literature, with emphasis in comparative ethnic studies, gender studies, modernism, place, and region. Her book West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands (University Press of Kansas, 2015) introduces African American writers best known as part of the Harlem Renaissance to the scope of the borderlands West. By locating modern African American literature in this unexpected place, West of Harlem brings black studies into conversation with Chicana/o studies in order to rethink the geographical, artistic, racial, and political contours of the "New Negro" and the American West. West of Harlem was a finalist for the 2015 Weber–Clements Prize for best nonfiction book on Southwestern America, awarded by the Clements Center for Southwest Studies and the Western History Association.

Selected Publications

Book: West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2015.

Articles and Book Chapters:

"Tribes of Men: John Joseph Mathews' Indian Internationalism," SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures 24.2 (Summer 2012): 39–64.

"Locating the Modern Mexican in Josefina Niggli's Step Down, Elder Brother," Western American Literature 45.1 (Spring 2010): 5–29.

"'A Small Man in Big Spaces': The New Negro, the Mestizo, and Jean Toomer's Southwestern Writing," MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States, 33.1 (Spring 2008): 11–32.

Republished in: Toomer, Jean. Cane: A Norton Critical Edition. Edited by Rudolph P. Byrd and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. 418–39.

Revised and republished in: Escape From New York!: The New Negro Renaissance Beyond Harlem. Edited by Davarian Baldwin and Minkah Makalani. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

Courses Taught


ASTD 1000 - Investigating America: An Introduction to American Studies
ASTD 2600 - American Places: Frontiers and Borderlands
ASTD 2700 - Gender, Race, and Social Justice
ASTD 2930 - What Makes a Man? Manhood and Meaning in American Culture
ASTD 3020 - American Mosaic: Literature and Diversity
ASTD 3030 - History and Fiction: The Harlem Renaissance
ASTD 3030 / WGS 3930 - History and Fiction: What's American about American Women Novelists?
ASTD 4960 - Senior Capstone


ASTD 5020 - Frontiers and Borderlands: Contact and Conquest in the American Imagination
ASTD 5930 - American Modernism
ASTD 5930 - Chicana/o Literature and Culture
ASTD 5930 - What's American about American Women Novelists?
ASTD 5930 - Women of Color and Feminism
ASTD 6930 - The Harlem Renaissance

Recipient of the 2014 Donald G. Brennan Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and 2015 Helen I. Mandeville Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities from the SLU College of Arts and Sciences.


Emily is currently the Undergraduate Coordinator and the Internship Coordinator of the Department of American Studies. She has also served on the Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum Committee, the Women's and Gender Studies Advisory Board, and the Women's and Gender Studies Programming Committee. Outside of SLU, she serves on the Executive Committees of the Midwest Modern Language Association and the Western Literature Association.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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