Apr 04, 2019 | Humanities and Social Sciences

Columbia State Professor Published in 18th Century Literary Book

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – April 4, 2019) - - -Dr. Jessica Evans,Columbia State Community College instructor of English, recently published a chapter titled “Redefining the Gothic Child: An Educational Experiment?” 

“This chapter was in the works when we interviewed Jessica Evans in the summer of 2016, so it is a pleasure to share its fruition with her and with the college community,” said Victoria Gay, Columbia State dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division. “While the chapter shows Jessica’s scholarly side, student support and enrollment in her classes attest to both her amiable nature and her practical skill at writing instruction.” 

The chapter, “Redefining the Gothic Child: An Educational Experiment?” appears in “Literary Cultures and Eighteenth-Century Childhoods” published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book is a collection of works by several scholars applying their expertise in different ways by looking at some facet of childhood in the 18thcentury.

In the chapter, Evans takes a look at Ann Radcliffe’s novel, “The Mysteries of Udolpho” (1794), as an example of how a Gothic child may be connected to the educational theories of the time period, especially in relation to further developing women’s education.

“My interest in education has appeared in a lot of my writings in both my master’s thesis and my doctoral dissertation, which this chapter builds upon,” Evans said. “I argue that the heroine of this Radcliffe novel provides an example of how a Gothic child becomes the embodiment of the 18thcentury ideal female pedagogy.”

Evans is a member of the Modern Language Association, American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Children’s Literature Association and the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Evans co-chairs the annual High School Competition, is the lead-faculty sponsor for the Eta Beta chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta English Honors Society and serves on the Learning Support, Student Honors Convocation and Curriculum committees, as well as the Service Learning Taskforce.  

Evans, a Tullahoma native, earned an associate degree from Motlow State Community College, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kentucky.