Susan Mayberry

Jane Petersen Professor of Humanities
Margaret & Barbara Hagar Professorship in the Humanities
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


  • BA: English, minors in French and history, Meredith College
  • MA: English, North Carolina State University
  • PhD: English, University of Tennessee
Download CV (PDF)

Specialties / Areas of Interest

  • Early Modern British Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • American Literature
  • Literature of the American South
  • African American Literature
  • Toni Morrison
  • All sorts of poetry
  • All kinds of drama

Research, Publications, & Presentations

Research & Publications

  • The Critical Life of Toni Morrison. Studies in American Literature and Culture: Literary Criticism in Perspective. Camden House Press, 2021
  • Can’t I Love What I Criticize? The Masculine and Morrison. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, Dec. 2007. Received the Outstanding Book Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (Copenhagen, 2009) and a 2008 Toni Morrison Society Book Recognition Award. Nominated for the 2008 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Studies Award.
  • Review of Marginalized: Southern Women Playwrights Confront Race, Region, and Gender by Casey Kayser. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 41.2 (Fall 2022).
  • “Masculine Othermothering in Toni Morrison’s Home .” In Toni Morrison on Mothers and Motherhood. Ed. Lee Baxter and Martha Satz. Bradford, ON: Demeter, 2017. 13-37.
  • “Home as a Rosetta Stone for Toni Morrison’s Decryptions of the Masculine.” US-China Foreign Language 15.5 (May 2017): 315-29.
  • "Visions and Revisions of American Masculinity in A Mercy." In Toni Morrison: Paradise, Love, A Mercy. Ed. Lucille P. Fultz. London: Bloomsbury, 2013: 166-84.
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?: Food, Race, and [En]countering the Modern in Toni Morrison's Tar Baby." In Toni Morrison: Forty Years in The Clearing. Ed. Carmen R. Gillespie. Bucknell UP, 2012: 211-35.
  • Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: Critical Approaches edited by Shirley A. Stave and Justine Tally (review). African American Review 45.3 (Fall 2012): 463-66.
  • "The Sign of the L[etter]: Celestial Law in Love." In Memory and Meaning: Essays in Honor of Toni Morrison, a Festschrift presented to Toni Morrison on the occasion of her eightieth birthday. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Feb. 18, 2011.
  • "Putting Down Parking Lots out there in Unpaved Paradise: Toni Morrison [en]Counters American Cowboy Culture." South Atlantic Review75.3 (Summer 2010): 83-108.
  • Toni Morrison’s Beloved Origins by Justine Tally (review). African American Review 43.1 (Spring 2009): 178-80.
  • "Everything about her had two sides to it: The Foreigner's Home in Toni Morrison's Paradise." African American Review 42.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2008): 565-578.
  • "Something Other than a Family Quarrel: The Beautiful Boys in Morrison's Sula." African American Review 37.4 (Winter 2003): 517-533.
  • "Ask Your Mama: Women in Langston Hughes's The Ways of White Folks." The Langston Hughes Review 13.2 (Winter/Summer 1995): 12-25.
  • "Out of the Mouths of Babes: Children and Narrative Voice in Langston Hughes's The Ways of White Folks." Griot 14.2 (Fall 1995): 48-58.
  • "A New Heroine's Marriage: Willa Cather's O Pioneers!" The Old Northwest: A Journal of Regional Life and Letters 16.1 (1992): 37-59.
  • "Salmagundi" and "The Sewanee Review." American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century. Ed. Edward Chielens. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1992. 295-99; 321-30.
  • "Symbols in the Sewer: A Symbolic Renunciation of Symbols in Richard Wright's The Man Who Lived Underground." South Atlantic Review 54 (1989): 71-83.
  • "Cuckoos and Convention: Madness in Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling." Mid-Hudson Language Studies 8 (1985): 21-32.
  • "Illusion and the Grotesque in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Southern Studies 22 (1983): 359-65. Rpt. Contemporary Literary Criticism 111 (1998).


  • Phi Kappa Phi, 1975
  • NCTE Summer Institute on Gender Studies and the Canon, 1988
  • NCTE Summer Institute on Cultural Studies, 1989
  • Kruson Award for Excellence in Teaching, Alfred University, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2015, 2020
  • Fred H. Gertz Professor of English (2001-2004)
  • Toni Morrison Society Book Recognition Award for Can't I Love What I Criticize?, 2008
  • Abigail Allen Faculty Award in Women's Studies, Alfred University, 2009
  • Outstanding Book Award for Can't I Love What I Criticize from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (Copenhagen, 2009)
  • Margaret and Barbara Hagar Professor in the Humanities (2016-2022)
  • AU Faculty Scholar (2021)
  • Jane Petersen Professor of Humanities (2022-)

Faculty/Staff Directory

What makes a place great? The consistent hard work of its caring & friendly faculty/staff. Every person here is a valued member of a living-learning community, and it really shows.

View More Profiles