Mary Catherine (MC) Harper, Ph.D.

Professor of English
McCann Chair in the Humanities

Program: English

Phone: 419-783-2461


Mary Catherine Harper


President, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature (2017-2018)

Member, Curriculum and Standards Committee, Defiance College (2016-2019)

Vice-President, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature (2016-2017)

Co-Chair, Student Life Retention Performance Management Committee, Defiance College (2016)

Chair, Academic Assessment Committee, Defiance College (2015-2018)

Presenter, Brian City Schools' MISSLE project (Mar. 2015)

Liaison to Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature (2014-Present)

Judge, The Eagles Excellence Award (2013-2017)

Programming Committee Member, Defiance Community Cultural Council (2012-2016)

Chair, Curriculum and Standards Committee, Defiance College (2012-2014)

Judge, Friends of the Library (2011-Present)

Chair of Programming Committee, Defiance Community Cultural Council (2009-2012)

Camp Staff, Rotary World Community Workshop (May 2009)

Co-Organizer, Swamp Fire Retreat (2008-Present)

Co-Chair, Intercultural Community Task Force, Defiance College (2008-2011)

Board Member, Defiance Community Cultural Council (2006-2012)

Editorial Board Member, The McMaster Journal, Defiance College (2006-2009)

Faculty Fellow, Board of Trustees, Defiance College (2004-2006)

Coordinator, Global Civilization Program, Defiance College (2003-2008)

Co-Coordinator, Arts on the Quad (Spring 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)

Member, YMCA World Service Team/Interfaith Committee (2002-2004)

Director of Composition, Defiance College (1999-2005, 2010-2016)

Advisor, Progeny Literary Magazine, Defiance College (1999-Present)

Coordinator, General Studies Literature Training Program, BGSU (1998-1999)


"Imagining Life As a Graffiti Artist." MidAmerica (2018). In press. Winner of the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize.

"Eclipse of the Past." Sky Island Journal 6 (2018).

"On Seeing, Too Close." SLAB 13 (2018).

"To Invent What We Desire." Third Wednesday (2017).

"matchbox sparrow" [haiku first line]. Three Line Poetry 45 (2017). Prolific Press.

"Four Words of the Apocalypse." The Spectacle 4 (2017).

"Eleusinian Mystery." The Spectacle 4 (2017).

"Diving In." The Spectacle 4 (2017).

"The Fall." Sheila-Na-Gig 1.4 (Summer 2017).

"The Art of Love." Sheila-Na-Gig 1.4 (Summer 2017).

"Yes, people suffer" [tanka first line]. Tanka Journal 5 (2017). Prolific Press.

"Persephone in Summer." The Offbeat 18 (Fall 2017).

"What Hands Ask of Stone." The Offbeat 18 (Fall 2017).

"Blue Spruce." Kansas City Voices 14 (2017). Whispering Prairie Press.

"Sonic Booms." South Florida Poetry Journal (SoFloPoJo) 5 (May 2017).

"Things That Bite or Drag You Underground." South Florida Poetry Journal (SoFloPoJo) 5 (May 2017).

"Sgraffito." Print-Oriented Bastards 10 ( Spring 2017).

"A Murder of Crows." SLAB 12 (2017).

Book review of K. M. Zahrt’s The Nature of Plots. The Grand Press, 2017. Solicited review.

Some Gods Don't Need Saints, 19-poem chapbook, Finishing Line Press, 2016. New Women's Voices Chapbook Competition semifinalist in 2015.

"Maumee River, High Water" and "Behind a Wooden Window." Old Northwest Review (Fall 2015).

"Feuding Clans." The Comstock Review (Fall/Winter 2015).

"Marble Love." Abyss & Apex (Oct 2015).

"Planet of Chairs." Cold Mountain Review 43.2 (Spring 2015).

"At Toul Sleng, Dec. 2005." Pudding Magazine 63 (2015).

"Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith (et al) Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes." Critical Insights: The Graphic Novel. Ed. Gary Hoppenstand. Grey House Publishing, 2014. 123-37. Print.

"Muddy World." MidAmerica 40 (2013): 13-15. Winner of the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize.

"Unbinding the Tragic 'Dream' of Human Abjection: Paying the Debt of Gender-Based Abjection in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman." Fabricating the Body: Effects of Obligation and Exchange in Contemporary Discourses. Ed. Sarah Burcon. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 55-68. Print.

"Figuring the Midwestern Grotesque in Louise Erdrich's Novels: Of Ojibwe Play, Modernist Form, and the Romantic Sensibility." Studies in American Indian Literatures (SAIL) 24.2 (2012): 17-38. Print.

"Connie Willis: Of Fused Genres, Marriage Plots, and Meta-Gender." The New York Review of Science Fiction 21.4 (2008): ISSN 1052-9438. Print and Web.

"Bleached Wheat." The Cleveland Reader (Jul 2007):

"Embroidered Bodies" collection of poems ("Embroidery," "Miriam, Bitter Sea," "Sin of the Cyborg," "Job, Fresh from Cyberspace"). "Digital Eves: Transgression/Transcendence in Cyberspace" issue (Jan 2007)

"Orature and Cambodian Culture." McMaster Journal 2 (2007): 104-16. Print.

"Global Civilization at Defiance College: An Interdiscursive Program." Reforming Liberal Education and the Core after the Twentieth Century. Ed. Darcy Wudel, Ronald J. Weber, and J. Scott Lee. Lanham, MD: UP of America, 2006. 9-14. Print.

"Incurably Alien Other: A Case for Feminist Cyborg Writers." Anthologized in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 106. Gale Publishing, 2001. Print.

Issues of Color: Racism: Does It Still Exist? Defiance, OH: Defiance College and Defiance Community Television, 2000. Co-moderator/interviewer. Print.

"Mending the Rationality/Romanticism Divide in the Study of Women's Science Fiction." FemSpec: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Journal 2.1 (2000): 11-29. Print.

Instructors Manual for In Search of Great Ideas: A Reader for Writers. Harcourt Brace, 1996. 255 pages. Co-authored with Michael Ryan. Print.

"Incurably Alien Other: A Case for Feminist Cyborg Writers." Science Fiction Studies 22.3 (1995): 399-420. Print.

"Being a Boundary: The Abject Subjects of Elizabeth Hand's HEL Trilogy." Extrapolation 36.3 (1995): 222-43. Print.

One Person' Struggle with Gender-Biased Language. Bowling Green, OH: WBGU-TV, 1994. Video.

"Spiraling Around the Hinge: Working Solutions in Always Coming Home." Old West/New West: Centennial Essays. Ed. Barbara Meldrum. University of Idaho Press, 1992. 241-57. Print.

Five untitled poems in Masque 1.1 (1991). 60-64.

"Deaf Enough." New England Review 13.2 (1991). 181-82.

A Winner of Associated Writing Programs "Intro Award for Poetry" (1990).

"The Blue Vase." Bozeman Er 6 Jun 1986. 3-4.


"Dramatic Reading of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried." Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Conference, 18 May 2018.

"Feminism: Affirming Our Shared Values, Training Our Voices." Conversations on Feminism roundtable, 31 Mar. 2017.

"A Paradox in Nostalgic Midwestern Poetry?" Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 1 June 2015.

"Arêtê . . . The Greek Way with Art, Sport, and Thought: A Liberal Arts Approach to Living." Debating Defiance Lecture Series, 24 Feb. 2015.

"Where Once the Cannibals Chanted: Reflections on Chaco Culture and Related Travel Literature and Fiction." Midwest Modern Language Association, 15 Nov. 2014.

"C. D. Wright's Sublime and Raw Gothic Poetry and the Reality Hunger Manifesto." National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 18 Apr. 2014.

"Failure to Deliver: The Success of eXistenZ and Repo! The Genetic Opera." Ray Browne Conference, 22 Feb. 2014.

"When Morpheus/Dream and the Repo Man Bring Death to the Community." Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 11 Oct. 2013.

"Of the New Gilded Age and the Problem of Activism in the Classroom: Experimenting with 'Conflict Transformation' Pedagogy." Battleground States Conference, 23 Feb. 2013.

"Unbinding the Tragic 'Dream' of Human Abjection: Paying the Debt of Gender-Based Abjection in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman." Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, 10 Nov. 2012.

"Race and Genetics." Debating Defiance Lecture Series, 13 Sep. 2012.

"Not What Does This Poem Mean . . . But What Does This Poem Do?"Defiance College Fall Convocation Distinguished Faculty Presentation, 27 Aug. 2012.

"What a Poem Can Do: Poetry Beyond Meaning and Being." Richard W. Stroede Distinguished Faculty Presentation, 17 Apr. 2012.

"Benjamin Franklin and Individual Thought." McMaster School for Advancing Humanity Symposium, 29 Mar. 2012.

"It's Not about Humans Eating Humans: Impossible Individualism and Impossible Community in The Road." Battleground States Conference, 25 Feb. 2012.

"When Tricksters and Love Collide: Louise Erdrich’s Tales of Burning Love and The Bingo Palace." Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, 5 Nov. 2011.

"Dear Pope: Did You GET My Letters? Signed, Father Damien; or, How a Louise Erdrich Character Writes Back to the Empire." Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 13 May 2011.

"Figuring the Midwestern Grotesque in Louise Erdrich's Novels." Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 14 May 2010.

"Getting My Feet Wet: How I Want to Cross the Rio Grande Next Time." Bluffton University’s Beyond Borders Immigration Conference, 20 Mar. 2010.

"The 'Meta' Way to an Integrative Learning Community." Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 24 Oct. 2008.

"Results of the Electronic Portfolio Implementation Learning Community." 2008 Learning Communities Initiative Expo, 19 May 2008.

"Rebuilding New Orleans." McMaster School for Advancing Humanity Symposium, 9 Apr. 2008.

"The Electronic Portfolio Implementation Learning Community of the Arts and Humanities Division, Defiance College." Ohio Learning Network/Northwest Regional Center Workshop, 15 Oct. 2007.

"Integrating Research, Experiential Learning, Global Service, and Discourse across the Disciplines: On the Process of Developing a 'Borderland' Journal." Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 28 Sep. 2007.

"Service Learning in the Community College: Making Connections with the Communities We Serve." National Communication Association Conference, 16 Nov. 2006.

"Bringing a Travel-Study Project in Cambodia into World Literature and Culture Courses." Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 7 Oct 2006.

"How a Learning Community Empowers." Collegiate Global Summit of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, 1 June 2006.

"Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Academic Learning: Studying Viewpoints on Conflict in West and Central Asia through Video-Production Methods." Educational Technology Convergence Project, 21 Apr. 2005.

"The Reality of Engagement: From Design to Assessment." Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 15 Oct. 2004.

"Creativity and Convergence in a Readings-Based Interdisciplinary Global Civilization Program." Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 10 Oct. 2003.

"Modernity's Concept of the Sub-Human; or, Lessons Learned from Science Fiction and Michel Foucault." Association of Core Texts and Courses Conference, 4 Apr. 2003.

"From Western to Global Civilization: A Painless Transition. Association for Core Texts and Courses Conference, 6 Apr. 2002.

"Multiculturalist Pedagogy: To Exercise the Heart or Discipline the Mind." American General and Liberal Studies Conference, 3 Nov. 2000.

"The Female Cyborg: A Hopeful Monster." National Women's Studies Conference, 12 June 1998.

"Facing the Alien: Confronting Feminist Interpretation through the Study of Women's Science Fiction." Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, 22 Feb. 1997.

"A History and Critique of Gender-Biased Language." Women's History Month Lecture, The University of Findlay, 14 Mar. 1995.

"A Snake Chasing It's Own Tail: Pat Cadigan's Feminist Poststructuralist Science Fiction." Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, 25 Feb. 1994.

"The Faces of Thought Woman: Adaptability in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony." Western Literature Association, 7 Oct. 1988.


Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, 2018
Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, 2018
Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, 2013
Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 2012
Richard W. Stroede Distinguished Faculty, 2011
McCann Chair in the Humanities, 2010
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society


Ph.D. in American Literature with a minor in Creative Writing/Poetics, BGSU (1992)
B.A. in English, Montana State University (1986)