Dr. Tara Penry teaches American literature at Boise State University, with an emphasis on literature of the American West and the nineteenth century. Dr. Penry joined the faculty of the Department of English in 2000, after earning a Ph.D. from Fordham University. Her research interests include Nineteenth-century Literary Periodicals of the U.S., especially relating to the American West; Sentimental Westerns (the literary history of affect in the West); Literature of the California Gold Rush; Bret Harte; and Sentimentalism, gender, and popular culture. In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Penry serves as a co-editor of the Boise State University Western Writers Series, and Interim Editor of the Hemingway Western Studies Series. She currently serves as Interim Director of the Hemingway Western Studies Center. Primary activities for the Center include book publishing, bringing speakers to Boise in the areas of western and environmental studies, supporting student research, and facilitating Boise State University campus and community relationships in the area of U.S. western studies.
Book History Comes West, Western American Literature (2011)
As specialists defined it in the 1970s and '80s, "book history" was a field of...
The Chinese in Bret Harte’s Overland: A Context for Truthful James, American Literary Realism (2010)
For the first two years of its existence, the Overland displayed at least as much...
Manly Domesticity on the Gold Rush Frontier: Recovering California’s Honest Miner, Western American Literature (2004)
"Tennessee's Partner" as Sentimental Western Metanarrative, American Literary Realism (2004)
Contributions to Books
The Literate West of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West (2011)
Asked to picture a western scene, most literate Americans in the nineteenth century, as today,...
Sentimental Eco-Memoir: Refuge, Hole in the Sky, and the Necessary Reader, Western Subjects: Autobiographical Writing in the North American West (2004)
In the recent issue of Western American Literature devoted to the subject of "Western Autobiography...
Sketching California: The ethnographic work of Gold Rush literature, 1850-1870, ETD Collection for Fordham University (1998)
This study proposes reading small-press "regional" periodicals to discover a more diverse set of traditions...
The Short, Happy Life of the California Partnership Tale, Western Literature Association Conference (2012)
Bret Harte, Mark Twain and the Art of Western Storytelling, OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute/Boise State University (2012)
Many clichés of the U.S. western mythos have been traced to nineteenth-century California writer Bret...
OSHER Institute 5-week course on Wallace Stegner, OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute/Boise State University (2011)
Stegner’s Sensational Pedagogy: Regional Literacy for Mind and Body, American Literature Association (2008)