Carol J. Singley (Ph.D. Brown University, M.A.,
B.A. Pennsylvania State University) is a Professor
of English and an Associate and Fellow at the Center for
Children and Childhood Studies. She directs the Undergraduate
Liberal Studies Program and co-directs the American Studies
Program, which includes an option for interdisciplinary
studies of Walt Whitman. She serves on the board of the
Walt Whitman Association, which helps to support historic
preservation, education, and tourism at Whitman’s
home in Camden. She formerly directed the Women’s
Studies Program. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships
from the New Jersey Council on the Humanities, the National
Science Foundation, the American Antiquarian Association,
and the Center for Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture.
Carol Singley is currently examining constructions of the
child in American literature. She is co-editor of The
American Child: A Cultural Studies Reader
(Rutgers University Press, 2003). The book includes
her co-authored introduction, which describes the child
as site of critical inquiry and explains how narratives
of U.S. national identity are persistently configured in
the language of childhood and family. Using a range of critical
methodologies, contributors to the book address matters
of race, gender, and family to chart the ways that representations
of the child typify historical periods and conflicting ideas.
Grounded in the literary, the volume also draws on other
disciplines, revealing that the concepts of "the child"
are not isolated artifacts but cultural productions that
in turn affect the social and intellectual climates around
them. Essayists look at games, pets, adolescent sexuality,
adoption, and other family relations to reveal the complex
ways in which the figure of the child permits writers to
consider evolving ideas of nation and citizenship.
Singley is presently writing a book on representations
of adoption in American literature and culture. Examining
narratives from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries,
she argues that adoption is central to the American literary
experience. She is the mother of two
adopted sons, ages 12 and 14, and enthusiastically
supports open adoption.
In addition to work on American childhood, Dr. Singley is
an internationally known scholar of Edith Wharton and the
author or editor of four books on Wharton. Her active interest
in composition includes consulting on reading and writing
literacy at primary and secondary schools.
Singley received the Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty
Award in 2002, the Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award
in 1996, and was nominated twice for the Lindback Lifetime
Teaching Award. Her leadership includes serving as president
of the Northeast Modern Language Association and president
of the Northeast Modern Language Association Women's Caucus.
She co-founded and currently co-chairs the Alliance for
the Study of Adoption, Identity and Kinship, a group of
interdisciplinary scholars interested in representations
of adoption, personal and social identity, and family construction.
Carol Singley was awarded a Bildner Intercultural Fellowship
and 2004-05. Her project, “The Literature of Childhood:
Multicultural Perspectives,” allowed her to redesign
part of a course that is regularly offered in the Department
of English and is required of all majors earning certification
to teach. It also funded a collection
of multicultural children’s literature,
which is housed in the Robeson
Library (image database can be viewed online.) The
collection allows RU-C students and local residents to
have easy access to a wide range of global literature
Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit. Cambridge
University Press, 1995.
The American Child: A Cultural Studies Reader.
With Caroline Levander. Rutgers
University Press, 2003.
Wharton’s The House of Mirth: A Casebook. Oxford
University Press, 2003.
Historical Guide to Edith Wharton. Oxford University
Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. New Riverside Editions.
Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Calvinist Roots of the Modern Era: Essays on Fiction, Drama,
and Poetry. With Aliki Barnstone and Michael Tomasek
Manson. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1997.
Power: Reading, Writing, and Ambivalence in Narrative by
Women. With Susan Elizabeth Sweeney. Albany: State
University of New York Press, 1993.
and Book Chapters:
and Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Literature.” Expectations
and Experiences: Children, Childhood and Children’s
Literature. Ed. Clare Bradford, Valerie Coghlan
Kimberley Reynolds. Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming.
“Edith Wharton and Susan Minot: A Literary Lineage.” Edith
Wharton Review 23.2 (Fall 2007): 8-12.
“Edith Wharton.” American
Literary Scholarship: An Annual 2005. Ed. David J. Nordloh.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. 141-48.
“Edith Wharton.” American
Literary Scholarship: An Annual 2004. Ed. David J. Nordloh.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. 127-35.
“Edith Wharton.” American
Literary Scholarship: An Annual 2003. Ed. David J. Nordloh.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. 123-33.
American Literature: The Centrality of Adoption.” Modern
Language Studies, Volume 34.1/2 (Spring/Fall 2004):
for Children,” A Companion to American
Fiction, 1780-1865. Ed. Shirley Samuels. Blackwell
Publishers, 2004. 249-61.
"Race, Culture, Nation: Edith Wharton and Ernest Renan.”
Twentieth Century Literature, 49.1 (Spring 2003):
Wharton, and Changing Culture in The Age of Innocence.”
Special issue on Pierre Bourdieu. Cultural Studies
a Family, Building a Nation: Adoption in Nineteenth Century
Children's Literature." Adoption in America:
Historical Perspectives. Ed. Wayne Carp. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 2002. 51-81.
Women’s Movement to Momentum: Where Are We Going,
Where Have We Been, and Do We Need Nikes to Get There?”
Journal of American Culture 25.3/4 (Fall/Winter
Wharton, Religion, and Moral ‘Quicksand.’”
Literature and Belief 15 (1995): 75-93.
Wharton’s Last Weeks and the Garden at St. Brice.”
Edith Wharton Review 9 (Spring 1992): 15-16.
National Science Foundation Education Grant (co-recipient),
American Antiquarian Society Peterson Fellowship, 1997.
Dartmouth School of Criticism and Theory Fellowship, 1984.
Northeast Modern Language Association Summer Fellowship,
New Jersey Council on the Humanities Grant, 1998.
Vermont Council on Humanities Grants, 1981 and 1980.
Center for Children and Childhood Studies Fellowship, 2000-01.
Center for Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture Fellowship,
Arts and Sciences Curriculum Grant (co-recipient), 1999.
Citizenship and Service Education Grant, 1995-96.
Dialogues Curriculum Grant, 1995-96.
Dialogues Faculty Development Grant (co-recipient), 1995.
Research Council Grants, 1994-95 and 1995-96.
Faculty Research Grant, 1990.
Invited Scholarly Talks
Singley’s work on adoption in literature continues
with a presentation she made on “Teaching Adoption
Fiction” at the Northeast Modern Language Association
Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, March 2004.
“Representations of Adoption in American Literature.”
Caldwell Scholars Program. Caldwell College. Caldwell, NJ.
Wharton on the Threshold of Catholicism: Classical and Christian
Traditions in Literature and Life.” Center for Catholic
Studies. College of the Holy Cross. Worcester, MA, October
Identities: Reading American Adoption.” Keynote Address.
New Jersey College English Association Annual Conference.
Literacy and Identity. Seton Hall University, March 2000.
a Nation, Building a Family: Adoption in Nineteenth-Century
Juvenile Fiction.” Literary History Lecture Series.
American Antiquarian Society. Worcester, MA, October 1998.