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 and faculty, Women's and Gender Studies Program


Marcil Hall 105
Biddeford Campus
On campus
Eligible for Student Opportunities

Jennifer Tuttle teaches courses on literature and health studies, US Literature and cutlure, 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 is coeditor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.

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). Her published essays on Gilman as well as on authors María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Owen Wister, and S. Weir Mitchell, M.D. explore intersections among gender, medical discourse, and western literary studies, and her article on Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's letters to Dr. Mitchell illuminate issues of gender and professionalization in the late 19th-century doctor-patient dyad. Her current book project is titled Unsettling the Imperial Pacific: American Nervousness in California Women’s Writing, 1848-1915. Dr. Tuttle has been at the forefront of recent scholarly efforts to illuminate the western orientation of New England-born Gilman and to support archives-based research and recovery projects on women’s literary history.

Professor Tuttle is the recipient of myriad awards for her work as a scholar and teacher. These include her recent designation as 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.


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

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 235)

Women's YA Dystopias (ENG 235)

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)

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, 1848-1915” (book manuscript in process)

Selected publications

“Recollecting Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Archival Labor and Women’s Literary Recovery,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Special Issue: Women and Archives, forthcoming 2021.

“Unruly Voices: Artist's Books and Humanities Archives in Health Professions Education” (with Cathleen Miller), Journal of Medical Humanities, Jan. 2020 (online; DOI 10.1007/s10912-019-09599-1); March 2020 (print).

“‘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. 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 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2017): 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; Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2017): 13-46.

“‘New England innocent’ in the Land of Sunshine:  Charlotte Perkins Gilman and California,” Western American Literature 48.3 (Fall 2013): 284-311.

New Texts and New Contexts in Charlotte Perkins Gilman Studies (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2011); coedited with Carol Farley Kessler.

The Selected Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009); coedited with Denise D. Knight.

"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 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004): 56-72.

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

Scholarly edition, The Crux by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1911 (Newark: 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 17.1 (2000): 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 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2000): 103-121.

"Liminality in Women’s 'History-Mystery':  The Case of Anne Perry," Popular Culture Review 11.1 (Feb. 2000): 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 XX (1998): 31-36.

Other scholarly activity

Legacy editions

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

Book reviews

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

Seminar leader (with Jean Pfaelzer), “Feminist Critical Regionalism and the Climate of Western Literary Studies,” C19 Conference, Albuquerque, NM, to be held March 22-25, 2018

“‘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, April 22, 2016

Keynote address: “Activism and the Archive: Rethinking Recovery in Gilman Studies,” Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, June 13, 2015

“Beyond Vacationland: ‘A Gateless Garden’ and Maine Women’s Writing,” UNE Art Gallery, March 12, 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, Mar. 6, 2014

Distinguished Alumni Lecture: “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the U.S. West,” Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego, May 20, 2013

“Reconceiving Writing: Collecting Artists’ Books for the Classroom and Archive,” with Cathleen Miller, UNE Art Gallery, Apr. 26, 2012

“‘I can feel the poetry coming’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and California,” Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Oct. 25, 2011

Plenary address: “Is Gilman a California Writer?,” Fifth International Conference on Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “Gilman Goes West,” University of Montana, Missoula, June 19, 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, Oct. 22, 2010

“Out of the Archives: Editing Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Letters,” Dyer Library/Saco Museum, Saco, ME, Mar. 16, 2010

“Recovering the Text,” Colloquium on “Illness in Society,” UNE, Oct. 9, 2006

“‘I Make Books So I Won’t Die’ – Artist’s Books and Illness,” UNE Core Connections Event, Apr. 7, 2005

“Go West, Young Woman!  Health and the Frontier in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” The Baxter Society, Portland, ME, Feb. 11, 2004

“Owen Wister’s The Virginian,” Parsons Memorial Library, Alfred, ME, Sept. 22, 2003

“The West and Women’s Health in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Crux,” San Diego Mesa College Occasional Lecture Series, Mar. 14, 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, May 20, 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, Apr. 18, 2002

“S. Weir Mitchell, Medicine Man: A Cultural Analysis of the ‘Open-Air Treatment,’” College of Physicians of Philadelphia History of Medicine Seminar, Mar. 19, 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

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