Jean Gregorek


Biography:

Jean Gregorek earned her Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University, where she specialized in Victorian Literature and Literary and Cultural Theory, and her M.A. from the University of York, England, where she focused on early Twentieth-Century British Literature and Women’s Studies.  Jean came to Antioch College in 1994, developing and teaching courses in Literary and Cultural Theory, Postcolonial Literature and Cinema, Literature of Imperialism, The Nineteenth-Century Novel, Detective Fiction, Literary Modernisms, and American Identities.

In addition to Jean’s research on British fiction, her professional interests encompass various forms of nineteenth and twentieth-century popular culture.  She has done extensive research at the British Library on the Victorian self-help movement and on British industrial novels.  She has presented papers on works by canonical novelists and on such varied topics as Victorian melodrama, American country music, corporate culture, the adjunctification of contemporary universities, the history of prisons, and the politics of mass incarceration.  Her publications include an article on American Depression-era pulp fiction and the introduction to an exhibition catalog of contemporary prison art; an essay on the novelist George Gissing and Nietzschean philosophy is forthcoming in the journal Nineteenth-Century Studies.  Jean’s current research focuses on the cultural history of British imperialism–specifically, mid-nineteenth-century conceptions of race in writings promoting the exploration of Africa.  Her scholarly endeavors have been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Philosophical Association, among others.

At the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute Jean’s courses encourage students to formulate their own intellectual questions rather than merely to repeat critical orthodoxies or canonical lists.  She sees the fundamental goal of education as the inculcation of a critical consciousness.  Literature and film are imaginative encounters with Otherness–other historical moments, other ways of being, other values.  Her courses therefore require students to compare these other ways of being with their own time and place, to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary society while beginning to understand lives and cultures outside of their own.

Jean sees her work at the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute as an important opportunity to engage faculty in instructing and learning from a more diverse body of students while continuing to preserve the vital mission and values of Antioch College.