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About Tara Penry

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 U.S. periodicals, regionalism from the colonial era to the present, and the short story writer Bret Harte. Dr. Penry is a past president of the Western Literature Association. At Boise State she has edited the BSU Western Writers Series and Western Writers Online, and has directed the Hemingway Western Studies Center.


2000 - Present Professor, Boise State University Department of English

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • 2004 - College of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Teaching, Boise State University
  • 2006 - Idaho Humanities Council Grant
  • 2010-2012 - Learning Success Grant, Boise State University
  • 2015 - Idaho Humanities Council Research Fellowship
  • 2016 - COAS Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Grant
  • 2019 - Finishing Foundations Award, University Foundations, Boise State University


  • Survey of American Literature
  • American Realism
  • Early American Literature
  • Contemporary Western Literature and Criticism
  • 20th-Century Western Women Writers
  • American Sentimentalism

Contact Information


Articles (9)

Student Mentored Works (1)

Contributions to Books (3)

Dissertation (1)

Presentations (10)