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Dr. Polly Stevens Fields , named Full Professor in May 2003, serves as a member of the English faculty since 1995. She received rank of Associate Professor in 1998 and was awarded Tenure in 1999. She received her Bachelor's Degree in 1979 from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a major in British Literature and was conferred with the 
Ph.D in British Literature from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Her 1992 dissertation received the Distinguished Dissertation Award, being honored as one of the "Top Ten" from a field of 250. While at LSU, she was awarded three fellowships (1991-1992) for study in England, as recognition of her 3.97 overall grade point average, in addition to her productivity in publications and conference presentations. Teaching full time at universities in Louisiana while working on her doctorate, she was an instructor on the English graduate and undergraduate faculty at the University of Alabama. Since Fall 1995, she has served on the English faculty at Lake Superior University, Michigan, where she teaches four to five courses each semester, from Freshman Composition to Shakespeare, Milton, the Rise of the British Novel, Responding to Writing, and Multicultural Literature, the latter five courses developed, written, and implemented by Dr. Fields. 

For her work in the classroom, Fields was selected by the Academic Deans at LSSU to receive the 1998 MAGB Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, bestowed by the Michigan Association of Governing Boards. In addition to her endeavors as a teacher, Fields is engaged in academic writing, along with research and scholarship. She continues publishing both course texts for student use in Freshman Composition courses at LSSU and professional works in the areas of her specialty, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century  literature. She has written, designed, and published web pages for her courses on Milton, Shakespeare, Rise of the British Novel, 401-402 English Methods, as well as maintaining her own personal web page of professional activities. Encouraging undergraduate research and scholarly work by her students, Fields has sponsored student papers at the annual Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters; she supervised the scholarship of five LSSU seniors who presented their own scholarly research at the March 9-11, 2000 conference in Saginaw and the March 20-21 Michigan Academy Conference at Hope College, Holland, Michigan.

A specialist in history of the drama, in Post-Modern Literary Criticism, and in cultural religion, Dr. Fields's conference presentations include national and international venues. For four consecutive years, her scholarly essays have been accepted for presentation at the prestigious conferences of the British Society, Oxford University. In July 1999, she traveled to the University of Dublin to present a paper at the Congress of the Enlightenment. Meeting every eight years, the congress attracts a number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century scholars worldwide whose presentations explore contemporary views of Enlightenment literature. A Delegate and a Chair at the Congress, her presentation paper was "Samson Occom and the Invisible Slave: The Pragmatics of Eighteenth-Century Missionaries and the Bifurcations of Racism." In the 1998 and 1999 meetings of the Canadian Society, she spoke at the University of Alberta, on the topic of "The Synecdochic Native-American," focusing on early missionaries in the Sault area; the following year,  her work was presented at the University of Montreal, where Fields gave a presentation on eighteenth- century preachers in Pre-Colonial America. 

Nationally, Dr. Fields appeared on a panel in February at Yale ACLA 2000 conference.  Her topic was "Silence of the Signs: The Death-Sex Nexus in Michigan Upper Peninsula Pictographs." She spoke in April at the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Philadelphia on her recent publication, the Reverend Peter Davys, husband of Mary Davys, the novelist/dramatist. In Spring 2000, Fields's paper, "Samson Occom And/In the Missionary['s] Position: Consideration of a Native-American Preacher in 1770s Colonial America," was presented at the Yale Center for British Art. Receiving distinction as one of twelve papers nominated for publication winter 2000-2001, the essay will be featured  in a special issue of the Wordsworth Circle, devoted to the dozen chosen essayists. 

During summer 2000, Fields picked up  her second UCLA Fellowship in June and July; working chiefly at the William Andrews Clark Rare Book Library of UCLA, she concentrated on her study of Anglican commemorative sermons, 1660-1800,  in the Cartwright and Pam Collections. Engaged in the study of decency and shifting definitions, she is employing selected dramas and novels as parts of the hypothesis.  In August, she presented her essay "Latin is Lethal: Davys in Dublin" at the British Society Conference, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She is also engaged currently in discussions about presenting a series of seminars on the history of the drama in the South in Scandinavia. 

While in Europe, she engaged in research at the British Library and the Bodleian to bring forward her book on pulpit rhetoric  in progress.  During this time, she prepared  an essay on the Native-American Metis, Jane Schoolcraft, "Forked Tongue" for presentation  at the Canadian Society, University of Toronto, October 2000, and completed an essay "Reading the Signs: Death and Transfiguration in Ojibway Pictographs" for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, Washington D.C., December 27-30, 2000. 

In January 2001, she returned to England to present a paper at Oxford University British Society, St. John's College.  Titled "The Fissured Body: Reconstructing Native-American Identity in the Canon of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (1800-1843)," the paper considered the implications of Post-colonial Native-American identity in the periodical Literary Voyageur, edited by Jane Schoolcraft and her husband, Henry R. Schoolcraft.  January 2002, she is presenting a paper before the British Society, Cambridge University "Jane Leade, Jakob Boehme, and the Founding of the Philadelphia Movement. "

Presentations during winter and spring 2001-2002 include MLA where as Forum Speaker her topic is "Teaching Smarter: Theory in the Cluster and Electronics Classroom," New Orleans, December 27 - 30, 2001. For the April 2002 ASECS conference in Colorado, she is organizer and chair of a panel, "The Civil Pulpit: Sermons and Public Culture in 18th-Century England." Additionally, she participated in the Debartolo Round Table with a paper entitled, "Manners as Regulatory Practices in Charity Schools and Hospitals." Last year, she presented at the 2001 ASECS, New Orleans, in late April.  The essay incorporated her work on 18th century Anglican preachers, focusing on Jane Leade, the visionary/writer/preacher whose textual emblematics impacted Francis Quarles, 18th century artist and preacher. 

Her publications include a collected essay on Eliza Haywood entitled, "'Manly Vigour and Woman's Wit': Engendering Dialogue in the Dramas of Eliza Haywood" in Compendious Conversations: Methods of Dialogue in the Early Enlightenment, edited by Kevin L. Cope (Lang, 1994). In 1998, Fields published a chapter on the Anglo-Irish writer, Mary Davys, in Eighteenth-Century Anglo-American Women Novelists (G. K. Hall, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Macmillan).  Her book review of a Davys volume appeared fall 2000, in The Scriblerian

Quite recently,  her essay on the British playwright/actress, "Charlotte Charke and The Liminality of Bi-Genderings: A Study of the Canonical Works," was published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the collection, A Pilgrimage for Love: Essays in Early Modern Literature. A third publication for 2000 is her featured article "George Lillo and the Victims of Economic Theory," one of nine essays featured in Studies in the Literary Imagination: Special Edition on the Drama, just released.. During this period, she also published two book reviews 

Signing during fall 2001, with Oxford University Press for articles on 18th century women writers to appear in New Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), she wrote profiles of the novelist/poet Eliza Kirkham Mathews (d. 1802) and periodicist/essayist/poet Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins (1763-1828). These essays are scheduled for publication 2002 in the New DNB

Publications for 2000-2001 included the commissioned articles in addition to the essay, "Samson Occom And/In the Missionary['s] Position: Consideration of a Native-American Preacher in 1770s Colonial America," presented at the INCS conference, Yale Center for British Art, April 2000.   Selected and designated as one of the twelve essays for publication by INCS, the essay appeared in The Wordsworth Circle , in a special issue devoted to the INCS conference, Summer 2001. 

A Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Summer Seminars at St. Deniol's and Selwyn College, Cambridge University, Summer 2002, she conducted research at Cambridge on pre-Reformation Charity sermons and festivities, to bring forward her book, "The Tropes of Decency." An article derived from the research on the pre-Reformation Feast of the Fool is currently circulating.

Presentations during summer 2002 through spring 2003 included a presentation at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, July 25-28, "Politicizing the Romantic: Felicia B. Hemans, The Blackwood Review, and the Irish Troubles," presented with permission of the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Committee. In June, she was Public Forum Speaker, and gave an address on Chippewa Ojibwa pictographs in Ontario Canada.   During October, she made a presentation before the Mid-West Eighteenth-Centry Conference, Southwest Missouri University, Springfield, in addition to organizing a panel and charing: "Holy Visions: Sermons as Early Modern Spectacle." In January 2003, she presented before the British Society, Oxford University, speaking on "Political Firebrands: Felicia B. Hemans and Eliza Sophia Tomlins, Political Activists."

Presentations scheduled in 2003, included the British Society, Oxford University, January 3 - 6, "Political Firebrands: Felicia B. Hemans and Eliza Sophia Tomlins, Political Activists."  Other conference papers were  "Printed Rebellion: Felicia Hemans And/In the Edinburgh Review" at SHARP, The Printed Book Society, Claremont Graduate Schools, July 7-12, 2003.  In addition, she was a delegate at Eleventh Congress of the Enlightenment. UCLA, Los Angeles. August 3-10, 2003, where she, also chairing four panels, she directed a session and presented a paper  "Tell No One Your Story': Alienation, Exile, and the Penitent Prostitutes at the Magdalene Asylum."   

Presentations during 2004 were  Peering Through the Hole in the Canvas: Native-American Women as Iconographs."  American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Boston, Massachusetts.  March 24- 28, 2004.  Papers accepted for presentation included the following:  "The Beguines: St. Hildegard of Bingen, as Mystic, Prophet, and Theosophist."  IATL  International Association of Theology and Literature, Le Moyne and Syracuse Universities,  Syracuse, New York.  May 19 - 25.  (Calendar Withdrawal) and  "Sturm und Drang of The Play Within, The Life Within: Charlotte Charke and Framing the Subliminal Self on Stage."  Goethe Graduate Institute, University New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. July 24 - 28, 2004.  (Calendar Withdrawal)

Work in progress includes her books, as discussed in the link "Recent Projects." Other short and long term projects incorporate an essay on fourteenth century mystics, as well as a work on "Identity and Impact: Theological Import of the Lady Moyers Lectures" Both will be circulating in 2004-5. One chapter-length work, "'My Bold Voice': Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Muzzeniegun or The Literary Messenger (1826)," the first publication in the Northwest Territories, is currently on a publisher's desk.


All contents copyright 2009 Polly S. Fields. All rights reserved.