Executive Board

Sarah Olivier, President

Olivier recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Denver (DU) where she researched nineteenth-century American literature with a focus on women and ethnic writers. She is also a lecturer at the University of Colorado at Denver where she teaches courses on American literature, gender and women’s studies, film, and composition. Her dissertation, A Raucous Entertainment: Melodrama, Race, and the Search for Moral Legibility in Nineteenth-Century America, was awarded the Evan Frankel Dissertation Fellowship. Olivier was also awarded the 2015 Robin Morgan Award for “Outstanding Graduate Student” as a result of her work as an activist and as the chair of the Graduate Women’s Council at DU. Under the mentorship of Carolyn L. Karcher, she founded the Lydia Maria Child Society (Spring 2015). Olivier is the guest editor and contributor for a special forum inLegacy: A Journal of American Women Writers entitled “Envisioning America’s Future: Lydia Maria Child and Social Justice” and the author of “Romanticism and Reform in the Writings of Lydia Maria Child,” an article for a digital volume on American romanticism published by Gale Researcher.

Lucy Sirianni, VP of Social Justice

Sirianni is a doctoral candidate in the English department at the University of California, Berkeley, where she works on nineteenth-century American literature with special interests in women’s writing, race, and transatlantic exchange.  One of her department’s 2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant award recipients, she has designed and taught undergraduate courses on nineteenth-century American literature and social justice and on recovering nineteenth-century texts.  At the recent Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference, she presented a paper on Lydia Maria Child’s readings of Phillis Wheatley, and she has given guest lectures on Wheatley, Helen Keller, and nineteenth-century African American women writers’ responses to Jane Eyre.  She looks forward to serving as the Lydia Maria Child Society’s Vice President of Inclusive Excellence and Social Action.

Sandy Burr, VP of Programs

Burr is Associate Professor of Early American Literature at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI—that’s the Upper Peninsula, folks, not the lower one.  Half the time the US media forgets to include the UP on maps of the USA!  She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, concentrating on 19th-century American literature, early African-American literature, early English-language children’s literature, and family studies.

Burr is co-editor, with renowned 18th-century scholar Adam Potkay, of the acclaimed anthology Black Atlantic Writers:  Living the New Exodus in England and the Americas. This project transformed and reoriented Burr’s intellectual and creative directions toward the late 18th-century, resulting in a widening and deepening of her interest in transatlantic Anglo-American children’s literature across the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly concerning science and the imagination.  While Burr has published widely on topics ranging from libraries in Renaissance England to American war literature, her passion for children’s literature guides her recent publications on Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sidney (aka, Harriet Lothrop, author of Five Little Peppers and How They Grew), and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Her current long-term project focuses on recovering Anglo-Irish writers Harriet and Louisa C. Beaufort, whose texts for children and adults across the long 19th century brim over with intellectual curiosity and acumen.

Lydia Maria Child first entered Burr’s life as the editor of the children’s magazine The Juvenile Miscellany and as the writer of the 1831 domestic guide, The Mother’s Book.  Every time Burr teaches Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  Written by Herself (1861), she is reminded of Child’s editorship, and her brave intervention in the fight for human rights and social justice.  Burr recently finished reading A Romance of the Republic (1867) and is wondering how it and/or Child’s An Appeal for the Indians (1868) and article “The Indians” (1870) might work in her American literature course for Winter 2016.

Tracey Daniels-Lerberg, VP of Communication and VP of Digital Development

Daniels-Lerberg is the director of the UTA English Writing Center. She recently earned her Ph.D. after successfully defending her dissertation, Rethinking Race, Gender, and Place in the Fictive and Real Geographies of the American West, which examines the significance of women and minority writing in the American West, expanding the genre and arguing against American Western tropes. Her teaching and scholarly interests include Nineteenth Century American women’s and multi-ethnic literature, cultural studies, and animal, critical race, environmental, and gender theory. She is a contributor to the ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance special “Year in Conferences” 2015 issue, and provided entries on Native American myths for American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore; female criminals for Social History of Crime & Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia; and female writers for the Encyclopedia of American Environmental Literature. Her forthcoming article  “Science and Food Fictions: Agricultural Technologies, the Evolution of the Modern Industrial Diet, and Calls for a New Revolution,” will appear in Green Humanities: A Journal of Ecological Thought in Literature, Art, and Philosophy.

Honorary Board Members
Chair: Carolyn L. Karcher, Temple University (Professor Emerita)
Robert Fanuzzi, St. John’s University
Hildegard Hoeller, The Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island, CUNY
Constance L. Jackson, Independent Scholar, Documentary Filmmaker, Permanent Productions
Karen L. Kilcup, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Susan Koppelman, Independent Scholar
Bruce Mills, Kalamazoo College
Dana D. Nelson, Vanderbilt University
Jane Sciacca, Wayland Historical Society
Carolyn Sorisio, West Chester University