Megan Sweeney is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor of English and Afroamerican and African Studies. She has published an award-winning monograph, Reading is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women's Prisons, and has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies (DAAS) and Director of the English Department Writing Program.
Professor Sweeney's research interests include African American literature and culture, critical race studies, feminist and gender studies, prison studies, reading studies, history of the book, pedagogy, ethnography, material culture studies, and creative nonfiction. She has written numerous articles and two books that explore the reading practices of incarcerated women, and she has published articles about the fiction of Toni Morrison and Gayl Jones. Professor Sweeney is currently working on a monograph called “Mendings,” which explores the roles that fabric, fiber, and clothing play in individuals’ and communities’ efforts to make meaning of painful or violent histories.
- “The Rickety Bridge: Prisoners and Human Rights in the Literature Classroom.” Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies. Eds. Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg and Alexandra Schultheis. New York: MLA, forthcoming 2015.
- The Story Within Us: Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2012.
- “‘Keepin’ it real’: Incarcerated Women’s Readings of African American Urban Fiction.” From Codex to Hypertext: Reading at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Anouk Lang. University of Massachusetts Press, 2012.
- Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.