Donelle Ruwe, PhD

Donelle Ruwe Professor
Northern Arizona University
Blg 18 Rm #102
Phone: 928-523-6729


My research interests include 18th- and 19th-century British literature (my Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Notre Dame was on British Romanticism), but I have a special passion for poetry of all kinds as well as the history of children’s literature. My new book British Children’s Poetry in the Romantic Era: Verse, Riddle, and Rhyme(Palgrave Macmillan 2014) explores the first wave of children’s poetry and identifies the qualities and elements of popular children’s verse from 1780 to today.  I’m interested in children’s poetry because I am a poet myself. My master’s degree from Boise State University was in creative writing, and I’ve published two national award-winning poetry chapbooks, Condiments (1996) and Another Message You Miss the Point of (2006). One of my poems, “The Thousandth Night,” is a retelling of the Scheherezade story, and it was selected for The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Fourteenth Annual Collection (2001). You can read my poetry in the open-access journal Ninepatch. Recently, I’ve grown interested in childhood and performance studies, and I’m co-editing a collection of essays with James Leve called Broadway Babies: Children, Childhood, and Musical Theater for the publisher Ashgate. In 2005, I edited the essay collection Culturing the Child, 1690-1914, and I continue to publish research on women writers and British Romanticism. I am a co-founder and current co-president of a national scholarly organization, the 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Association, and I work with different universities and graduate students across the United States in organizing this association’s annual conference.

I create classes that emphasize student mastery of literary approaches and scholarly vocabulary, and I like to create interesting final projects.  My undergraduate classes might require students to recite poetry or craft a casebook of literary analysis, and since my graduate classes emphasize professional and marketable skills, students often prepare conference papers or publishable essays as their final project. Most of my students have given papers at regional or national scholarly conferences (such as the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference), and every year students have their work accepted for publication. Most recently, Scott Shumaker’s essay on Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth and Cassandra Galentine’s essay on Graham Greene’s The Quiet American have been accepted for publication in The Explicator, and Kathryn Schmitz’s essay on George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin has been accepted by North Wind: a Journal of George MacDonald Studies.