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Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 2:45pm

Miriam Gogol, a professor of literature at Mercy College, has published a collection of select essays examining the experiences of working women in late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth-century American literature.

Titled Working Women in American Literature, 1865-1950, the compilation features writings by female and male literary, historical and multicultural critics, depicting working women during a time of substantial social transformation. The essays highlight women in fiction representing multi-layered roles, from varied cultural, familial, race and class backgrounds, and the tribulations, inner conflicts and progressions they faced.

Gogol hopes that readers will have a rich experience learning about these multifaceted women in differing working contexts and be able to further analyze how they are portrayed in fiction, short stories and plays. In some cases, they may be stereotyped, while in others, they may be uplifted. They may be portrayed as victims of the expectations of romance and marriage, while others may be strengthened by a set of new responsibilities learned in the workplace. Intended for students, faculty members and scholars, Gogol sees consumers analyzing how these characters’ representations may still inform the lives of working women today.

As a professor of literature and language at Mercy, Gogol’s areas of expertise include American realist literature, American naturalist literature, literary criticism, and gender and feminist literary theory. In her classroom, she “feels blessed to be doing what she has a passion for,” and “breathing life into these women characters through discussion” is something she loves most about teaching.

“I also like to work with students on finding a niche or author who they love through the reading of different fiction — something or someone they may choose to focus on in terms of their own reading in the future,” Gogol said.

Gogol previously served as dean of Mercy College’s School of Liberal Arts from 2009-2014. Gogol suffered the loss of her husband in July 2014 and returned to teaching and spending her time conducting research and writing. She reentered Mercy as a full professor and is particularly excited about instructing a class at MercyManhattan this spring semester. “I expect to find in some ways a whole new population, and I’m eager to find out what the students are like there,” Gogol enthused.

“I like teaching diverse literature and find it enriching to share with the students. And, given the diversity of Mercy classrooms, I encourage students to weave their own experiences into the stories and characters,” Gogol reflected. “Then, a student may realize, they may not be alone in their experiences and struggles.”