Not throwing away her shot: English Professor Jennifer Harding publishes multiple works

Created: July 27, 2017
Last Updated: April 2, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (July 27, 2017) - Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) associate professor of English Jennifer Harding’s drive is non-stop. In 2017 alone, Harding published her first book, wrote a featured story in a literary magazine, and will publish a chapter for an MLA teaching series.

Harding brought her love of language and the Broadway musical Hamilton together in her article “The poetics of Hamilton” for the May issue of the British literary magazine, Babel.

She’s been interested in Hamilton since Lin-Manuel Miranda debuted the show’s opening rap at a White House performance in 2009, and she followed the project as she helped to develop the American Studies Program at W&J. She’s taught Hamilton in three of her classes at the College and will continue offering students her insight on the language and characterization in the musical with her fall first year seminar (FYS), ‘Power Couple: George and Martha Washington.’

“The students love Hamilton and I really liked teaching it, and I wanted to do something scholarly,” Harding said of her decision to write the article. “At the same time, this magazine seemed like a nice outlet because Hamilton has a lot of popularity, and it seemed like something that would be interesting to a general readership, not just to an academic audience.”

In the Babel article, Harding examines rhymes, puns and idioms in the musical’s lyrics. The article is part of a continuing analysis of figurative language that Harding has been doing throughout her career that is prominently displayed in her new book, Similes, Puns and Counterfactuals in Literary Narrative.

Harding began studying figurative language as an undergraduate, and went on to write her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation on the subject.

Published in April, her book delves into the different figures of speech mentioned in the title, as well as their narrative functions. The book is published by Routledge.

Rounding out her impressive year, Harding will have a chapter published in the MLA teaching series Approaches to Teaching Charles W. Chesnutt in the fall.

“I’m excited about it. I teach Charles Chesnutt stories all the time in American Literature and African American Literature. Everything that is in my article is an outgrowth of classes I’ve taught here,” she said.

Earlier this year, a Fulbright award funded Harding’s trip to Prague, Czech Republic, where she taught two classes and delivered seven lectures. Read more about Harding’s Fulbright award

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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