Contact Information:

439 Williams Building

LEIGH H. EDWARDS, Associate Professor, Ph.D. in English University of Pennsylvania (1999), M.A. in English University of Pennsylvania (1993), B.A. Duke University (1992). Dr. Edwards specializes in American literature and popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present, with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary American studies and media studies approaches and on intersections of gender and race.

She is the author of the book Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity (Indiana University Press, 2009). Her study examines how Cash's work and image, particularly his themes of contradiction, illuminate key foundational tensions in the history of American thought. Her book The Triumph of Reality TV: The Revolution in American Television (Praeger, 2013) analyzes how reality television has pioneered key trends in new media and media convergence. It also addresses how reality programming markets themes of social conflict, especially changing ideals of "the American family."

Her current research includes a book on Dolly Parton and gender performance in popular music (under contract with Indiana University Press). She is also researching representations of racial mixture, nationalism, and transnationalism in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century U.S. literature and popular culture. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Popular Television, Pop Culture Universe, and Invisible Culture.

Her teaching interests include: American literature and popular culture in a global frame from the nineteenth century to the present; media studies, particularly television studies and popular music studies; American studies; cultural studies; Women's Studies; cultural theory, including critical theories of gender and race.