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Emily Lutenski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
American Studies

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


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)

Research Interests

Lutenski'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.

Publications and Media Placements


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.

Honors and Awards

West of Harlem was a finalist for the 2015 Weber–Clements Prize for best non-fiction book on Southwestern America, awarded by the Clements Center for Southwest Studies and the Western History Association.

Lutenski is also a 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.

Professional Organizations and Associations

Lutenski serves on the Executive Committees of the Midwest Modern Language Association and the Western Literature Association.

Community Work and Service

Lutenski 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.