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English Department
ShaunAnne Tangney

Faculty & Staff

Dr. ShaunAnne Tangney
Professor of English
Office: 138 W Hartnett Hall
Phone: 701-858-3180

BA: University of California, Santa Cruz, June 1990. Degree granted in English/American literature
MA: Northeastern University, June 1993. Major area of study: American literature
Ph.D.: University of Nevada, Reno, May 1997
Dissertation title: “Children of the Word: From Image to Method in American Apocalyptic Literature”

Courses Taught:
English 110—College Composition I
English 120—College Composition II
English 211—Introduction to Creative Writing
English 220—Introduction to Literature
English 236—Women and Literature
English 261—Foundations in American Literature I
English 262—Foundations in American Literature II
English 270—Introduction to Literary Theory
English 326—Apocalyptic American Literature
English 345—American Noir
English 359—Literature of the Wild
English 376—The American Century: Literature and Culture in the Twentieth Century
English 411—Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
English 535—Topics in American Literature
English 545—Topics in Writing
English 491—Senior Seminar

More about Dr. Tangney:
Dr. Tangney pursued a career in higher education and in literary studies specifically because she believes that human beings are by their very nature story-lovers and story-tellers. In a book about her California heritage, Where I Was From, Joan Didion writes, "the importance of recording these memories was unquestioned: the flood and the levees and the two-story house on the Grape Vine Ranch had become, like the potato masher that crossed the plains, like the books that did not get jettisoned on the Umpqua River, evidence of family endurance, proof of our worth, indistinguishable from the crossing story itself." Stories function the same way. Just as we hold on to prized possessions because we believe them to be haunted with memory and meaning, we tell and re-tell stories to understand our heritage and our inheritance, be it familial, cultural, social, historical, or literary.

Dr. Tangney’s primary area of research and scholarship is the American west. She has recently published a book on Robinson Jeffers titled The Wild That Attracts Us: New Critical Essays on Robinson Jeffers (University of New Mexico Press, 2015). She has also published several essays on Jeffers, and on other western writers such as Kate Braverman and Paul Zarsyski. She is currently working on the intersection of the American Dream and the west, especially as present in noir film and literature. Dr. Tangney regularly presents her scholarly work at such venues as the Modern Language Association convention, the Western Literature Association conference, the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference, the Robinson Jeffers Association conference, and the Twentieth Century Literature and Culture conference. Dr. Tangney is also a poet, and her work has been published in the United States, in Great Britain, and in Australia.

Dr. Tangney is active in many areas parallel to academia. She has served as the Executive Director for the Robinson Jeffers Association and chaired the North Dakota University System's Humanities Summit. She has served on the Executive Board for the Taube Museum of Art in Minot, and on the Community Advisory Board for Prairie Public Broadcasting.