Provost Fellow for Public Affairs 2022-23

Dr. Shannon Wooden

English Department
Literature Program Coordinator
Siceluff Hall 230

Dr. Shannon Wooden is a gender studies expert and professor of English. She specializes in British literature and teaches a wide variety of courses, from the Romantic/Victorian/20th century survey, to Critical Approaches to Literature, to upper-level courses in 18th and 19th century literature, as well as Introduction to Literature and Creative Writing: Fiction.

From her dissertation work on Darwinian evolution and race science in Victorian novels, much of her research has had to do with literature and science. After teaching in social medicine departments and participating in a narrative medicine workshop at Columbia University, she has further focused on the intersections between literature and medicine. Two recent articles deal with narrative medicine readings of Dostoevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” and Mark Haddon’s "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," respectively focusing on empathic reading as a worthy goal for literary pedagogy, and, through medical paradigms, one performable with critical rigor.

She has also published on Victorian women’s sensation fiction, the 1990s film adaptations of several Jane Austen novels, Romantic and Victorian abolitionist poetry and representations of gender in the Pixar movies; her most recent book project, with co-author Ken Gillam, analyzes postfeminist boy culture as represented by Disney-Pixar.


  • PhD, English Literature, 2001, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • MA, English Literature, 1995, Missouri State University
  • BA, English Literature, 1993, Missouri State University


  • English 200 Introduction to Literature
  • English 215 Creative Writing: Fiction
  • English 235 Critical Approaches to Literature
  • English 287 Life Stages in Literature
  • English 341 Survey of British Literature II
  • English 543/643 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
  • English 544/642 Romantic Literature
  • English 512/618 The British Novel

Research and professional interests

  • British Literature
  • Literature and Science
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Gender Studies
  • Popular Culture
  • Pedagogy

Additional resources

Areas of Expertise

Literature Gender Issues

Media Appearances

How Gender Studies Evolves

Gender studies expert Dr. Shannon Wooden shares about the evolving role of femininity and masculinity.

Updated Barbie Dolls Tackle Body Image with Diversity

Gender studies expert Dr. Shannon Wooden addressed the influence of Barbie dolls on children.

Professors Slam Pixar for Sexist Portrayal of Boys in Disney Films.
Campus Reform

Gender studies expert Dr. Shannon Wooden highlights concerns about negative masculine stereotypes.

MSU Professors Reveal Pixar’s Hidden Messages
Springfield News - Leader

Gender studies expert Dr. Shannon Wooden shares the importance of focusing on the messages within films that are often overlooked.