Composition: 19th-century American literature, with particular focus on works by women and African-Americans; the novel; the American antislavery movement; digital humanities.
Catherine Saunders teaches introductory and advanced composition and literature, and has helped develop hybrid sections of English 302. Her research interests include 19th-century American literature, with particular focus on works by women and African-Americans; the novel; the role of genre labels in literary criticism; and the antislavery movement. She has spoken at conferences including those of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, the American Studies Association and its regional affiliates, and the American Literature Association, and has published encyclopedia articles on the term "mulatto" and on abolitionist Lydia Maria Child. She is currently researching the life and work of Emily Clemens Pearson, a little-known antislavery novelist she encountered while writing her 2002 Princeton Ph.D. dissertation, Houses Divided: Sentimentality and the Function of Biracial Characters in American Abolitionist Fiction. With GMU colleagues Jessica Matthews and Lisa Koch, Saunders is co-founder of the D.C.-Area American Women Writers Study Group.