Jennifer S. Tuttle

Jennifer S. Tuttle, Ph.D.


Dorothy M. Healy Professor of Literature and Health

Professor of English

Director, Maine Women Writers Collection

Co-founder, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2021-22


Marcil Hall 105
Biddeford Campus
Eligible for Student Opportunities

Jennifer Tuttle teaches courses on literature and health studies, US literature and culture, women's writing, and the US West. Holding an endowed chair in literature and health, she designs courses, pursues scholarship, and develops curricular and programming initiatives that integrate the health sciences and the humanities at UNE. As the Dorothy M. Healy Professor, she is also director of the Maine Women Writers Collection. Beyond UNE, she was a longtime editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.

Central to Dr. Tuttle's research is scholarship drawing on archival sources as well as the study of archives themselves. Much of her work engages in the recovery of texts, writers, and perspectives that are absent from or obscured by the historical record. She is editor of the first recovered edition of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1911 western The Crux (2002) and co-editor of two additional books on Gilman, a collection of her letters (2009) and a volume of critical essays (2011). Dr. Tuttle has been at the forefront of recent scholarly efforts to illuminate the western orientation of New England-born Gilman. Her published essays on Gilman as well as on authors Edith Maude Eaton, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Owen Wister, and S. Weir Mitchell, M.D. explore intersections among race, gender, medical discourse, and western literary studies, and her article on Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's letters to Dr. Mitchell illuminates issues of gender and professionalization in the late-19th-century doctor-patient dyad as well as the problem of women's invisibility in archives. Her current book project, Unsettled Empire: American Nervousness in California Women’s Writing, challenges the narrow archive of sources and the colonizer’s perspective that have shaped the prevailing narrative of California’s history as a site of regeneration for the neurasthenic East. 

Professor Tuttle is the recipient of myriad awards for her work as a scholar and teacher. These include her designation as the 2021-22 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievement as a scholar-teacher; Distinguished Alumna of the University of California, San Diego Department of Literature; the Kenneally Cup Award for Distinguished Academic Service to UNE; the Schachterle Prize, awarded by the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts for the best new essay on literature and science (for “Rewriting the West Cure”); and several nominations--for the Modern Language Association's  Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters (for The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman), for both the Debra J. Summers Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (UNE/Biddeford Campus) and the Mary Rines Thompson Award for Teaching Excellence (UNE/Portland Campus), and for the ULead Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

As the faculty mentor for the UNE Generation Action Club (Planned Parenthood campus chapter), Professor Tuttle loves working with students both in and outside of class.


Writing, Revolution, and Resistance in US Literature (ENG 200)

Who and What is an American? Reimagining US Literature (ENG 201)

The Captivity Narrative (ENG 235)

Women of the West (ENG 237)

Women's YA Dystopias (ENG 237)

The Slave Narrative (ENG 300)

Writing and Women's Health (ENG 310)

Madness in Literature (ENG 326)

Patient Narratives (ENG 326)

Women’s Detective Fiction (ENG 335)

Humanities Seminar: Slavery in the Land of the Free (ENG 412)

Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST 200)

Directed studies according to student interest



Ph.D. in Literature
University of California, San Diego
M.A. in English and American Literature
University of California, San Diego
B.A. in English, with Honors
University of California, Irvine


Current research

“Unsettled Empire: American Nervousness in California Women’s Writing” (book manuscript in process)

Selected publications

Legacy Profile: Dora Mitchell/Dolores Michel,” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 39.2, 2023, pp. 93-120.

Editor, “The Shadowed Witness” by Dora L. Mitchell, Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 39.2, 2023, pp. 121-31.

“Reading Archival Absences” (newsletter article), Notes from the Archive Newsletter, Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, January 2023.

“Writing the Rails in Edith Eaton’s West,” The Routledge Companion to Gender and the American West, ed. Susan Bernardin, Routledge, 2022, pp. 271-83.

“Other People’s Labor,” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Online Forum, 2022 (invited). 

“Recollecting Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Archival Labor and Women’s Literary Recovery,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Special Issue: "Women and Archives,” Part 2, ed. Laura Engel and Emily Ruth Rutter, vol. 40, no. 2, Fall 2021, pp. 215-39. DOI: 10.1353/tsw.2021.0021.

“‘To turn over and over’: the Loss of the Verso in the Virtual Archive,” Women’s Studies special issue on “Early American Women Authors, Unbound,” ed. Betsy Klimasmith, Renée Bergland, and Len von Morzé, vol. 50, no. 6, 2021, pp. 549-51. DOI: 10.1080/00497878.2021.1947281.

“Unruly Voices: Artist's Books and Humanities Archives in Health Professions Education” (with Cathleen Miller), Journal of Medical Humanities, vol. 41, no. 1, Mar. 2020, pp. 53-64. DOI 10.1007/s10912-019-09599-1.

“‘I make books so I won’t die’: Artist's Books in the Archives and Classroom” (with Cathleen Miller), Prescriptions:  Artists' Books on Wellbeing and Medicine, Natrix Natrix Press, UK, 2017, pp. 11-17. Catalog for Beaney House of Art & Knowledge Exhibition, Canterbury, UK.

“Recovering the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: or, Reading Gilman in Rome,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a Woman's Place in America, ed. Jill Bergman. University of Alabama Press, 2017, pp. 186-218.

“Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the U.S. West,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a Woman's Place in America, ed. Jill Bergman. With Gary Scharnhorst; University of Alabama Press, 2017, pp. 13-46.

“‘New England innocent’ in the Land of Sunshine: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and California,” Western American Literature, vol. 48, no. 3, Fall 2013, pp. 284-311.

New Texts and New Contexts in Charlotte Perkins Gilman Studies, with Carol Farley Kessler, Ohio State University Press, 2011.

The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with Denise D. Knight, University of Alabama Press, 2009.

"The Symptoms of Conquest: Race, Class, and the Nervous Body in The Squatter and the Don," Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton: Critical and Pedagogical Perspectives, ed. Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes and Anne E. Goldman. University of Nebraska Press, 2004, pp. 56-72.

"Indigenous Whiteness and Wister's Invisible Indians," Reading The Virginian in the New West, ed. Melody Graulich and Stephen Tatum. University of Nebraska Press, 2003, pp. 89-112.

Scholarly edition, The Crux by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1911. University of Delaware Press, 2002.

"Letters from Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (Ward) to S. Weir Mitchell, M.D., 1884-1897," Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, vol.17, no. 1, 2000, pp. 83-94.

"Rewriting the West Cure: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Owen Wister, and the Sexual Politics of Neurasthenia," The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ed. Catherine J. Golden and Joanna S. Zangrando. University of Delaware Press, 2000, pp. 103-121.

"Liminality in Women’s 'History-Mystery':  The Case of Anne Perry," Popular Culture Review, vol. 11, no. 1, Feb. 2000, pp. 85-97.

“S. Weir Mitchell, Medicine Man: Race, Gender, and Medical Authority in Mitchell’s West Cure,” Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, vol. XX, 1998, pp. 31-36.

Other scholarly activity

Scholarly journal editions

Editor-in-Chief, Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, issues 30.1-34.1 (2012-2017)

Co-Editor, Legacy, issues 23.2-29.2, 35.1-37.2 (2006-2012, 2017-2020)   

Book reviews

A Black Woman’s West: The Life of Rose B. Gordon by Michael K. Johnson, in Western American Literature 58.3 (2023), forthcoming.

Westerns: A Women’s History by Victoria Lamont, in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 36.1 (2017): 224-26.

“Out of the Archives: New Biographical Studies of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Review essay on Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and Cynthia J. Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In Resources for American Literary Study 35 (2012): 359-67.

“The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Dual-Text Critical Edition ed. Shawn St. Jean, in Resources for American Literary Study 33 (2010): 327-29.

Rehabilitating Bodies: Health, History, and the American Civil War by Lisa A. Long (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), in American Literary Realism 39.2 (2007): 174-75.


The Maine Women Writers Collection: The First Fifty Years, co-written with Shoshana Hoose; co-created with Cally Gurley, Shoshanna Hoose, Rhonda Wanser, and Jen Widor. The Maine Women Writers Collection, 2009.  Aired on MPBN (television) 26 and 31 July 2010. 

I Make Books, a film about book artist Martha A. Hall, producer, interviewer, researcher with Cally Gurley, Hollis Haywood, and Kari Wagner. UNE Media Services Department, 2005. 

Invited plenary presentation

Lost and Found in LA: Recovering the Life and Writing of Dora L. Mitchell,” 2021 Ludcke Lecture, UNE, Feb. 8, 2023

“Recovering Lost Voices: The Case of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” Sargent House Museum, Gloucester, MA, 2021

Seminar leader (with Jean Pfaelzer), “Feminist Critical Regionalism and the Climate of Western Literary Studies,” C19 Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 2018

“Making Sense of Charlottesville,” UNE Constitution Day event, 2017

“‘I make books so I won’t die’: Artists’ Books in the Archives and Classroom” (with Cathleen Miller), Artist’s Books and the Medical Humanities Symposium, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, 2016

Keynote address: “Activism and the Archive: Rethinking Recovery in Gilman Studies,” Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, 2015

“Beyond Vacationland: ‘A Gateless Garden’ and Maine Women’s Writing,” UNE Art Gallery,  2015

“Calls and Responses: Speech Acts and the Unfinished Business of Civil Rights,” Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, “50 Years of Progress and the Challenges That Remain,” UNE, 2014

Distinguished Alumni Lecture: “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the U.S. West,” Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego, 2013

“Reconceiving Writing: Collecting Artists’ Books for the Classroom and Archive,” with Cathleen Miller, UNE Art Gallery,  2012

“‘I can feel the poetry coming’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and California,” Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, 2011

Plenary address: “Is Gilman a California Writer?,” Fifth International Conference on Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “Gilman Goes West,” University of Montana, Missoula, 2011

Keynote address: “‘scrappy, imperfect, desperately earnest’: Recovering the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” conference entitled “Donne e Polis: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Oggi” (“Woman and Polis: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Today”), University of Rome III, Rome, Italy, 2010

“Out of the Archives: Editing Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Letters,” Dyer Library/Saco Museum, Saco, ME, 2010

“Recovering the Text,” Colloquium on “Illness in Society,” UNE, 2006

“‘I Make Books So I Won’t Die’ – Artist’s Books and Illness,” UNE Core Connections Event, 2005

“Go West, Young Woman!  Health and the Frontier in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” The Baxter Society, Portland, ME, 2004

“Owen Wister’s The Virginian,” Parsons Memorial Library, Alfred, ME, 2003

“The West and Women’s Health in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Crux,” San Diego Mesa College Occasional Lecture Series, 2003

“Conducting Archival Research on Women and Health in the Maine Women Writers Collection,” Association of College and Research Libraries/New England Colleges Women’s Studies Interest Group meeting, Portland, ME, 2002

“‘Come with me into the freedom of the wild’: Women Health-Seekers in the Wilderness,” Maine Women Writers Collection Spring Lecture Series, Portland, ME, 2002

“S. Weir Mitchell, Medicine Man: A Cultural Analysis of the ‘Open-Air Treatment,’” College of Physicians of Philadelphia History of Medicine Seminar, 1998

Research interests

Literary recovery, California literature, literature and health studies, women's cultural production, ethnic studies

Research topics

Archival Studies
Ethnic Studies
Literature and Health Studies
Medicalization of Mothering
Pacific Studies
Race and Racism
Tourism, Travel and Leisure
United States Literature
Western American Literature
Women's and Gender Studies
Women's Literature