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Tara Penry


Dr. Penry came to Boise State in 2000. She teaches and writes mostly about nineteenth-century American literature and the literature of the American West, though her courses range widely from first-year to MA and Literature capstone courses. She edited the Boise State Western Writers Series from 2000 to 2006 and its successor Western Writers Online from 2013 to 2015. She has received teaching awards from the Boise State College of Arts and Sciences and from University Foundations. Her classes are often project- or service-based. She is currently writing about the popular but enigmatic nineteenth-century writer Bret Harte and, with Dr. Eun Hye Son from the department of Literacy, Language and Culture, about student leadership and collaboration.


  • Ph.D. in English, Fordham University


Western writers Al Young, Kao Kalia Yang, Gerald Vizenor, Terry Tempest Williams, James Welch, Wallace Stegner, Marilynne Robinson, Tommy Orange, Maxine Hong Kingston, Thomas King, Robinson Jeffers, Lawson Inada, Sean Hill, Bret Harte, Joy Harjo, Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisneros, Horace Cayton, Octavia Butler, Michael Branch, Mary Clearman Blew, Aaron Abeyta, and more; the unfinished Civil War; nineteenth-century periodicals; editors and editing; project-based learning and teamwork; educational equity; everyday literacies.

Sample Publications

See  Dr. Penry’s Scholarworks page at Albertsons Library


Additional Websites