Deborah Barker has a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University and has taught at University of Mississippi since 1990. Her latest book, Reconstructing Violence: The Southern Rape Complex in Film and Literature, takes as its starting point D. W. Griffith’s infamous The Birth of a Nation and demonstrates how the tropes and imagery of the southern rape complex continue to assert themselves across a multitude of genres, time periods, and stylistic modes. Barker co-edited with Kathryn McKee, American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary. Barker’s first book, Aesthetics and Gender in American Literature: The Portrait of the Woman Artist, deals with the role of the artist in literature by American women writers. She has also written a number of essays on southern film and literature and she is currently working on a collection of essays on southern noir.
- Ph.D., Princeton University, English and American Literature (1991)
- M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook, English and American Literature (1987)
- M.A., University of Oklahoma, Sociology (1980)
- B.A., University of Oklahoma, Sociology (1978)
Teaching and Research Interests
- Film Theory and Criticism
- Southern Film and Literature
- Gender Theory and Criticism
- 19th- and 20th-Century American Literature
- Reconstructing Violence: The Southern Rape Complex in Film and Literature. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2015.
- “Reconstructing Scarlett and the Economy of Rape in Gone with the Wind.” In New Approaches to Gone with the Wind. Ed. Andrew Crank. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2015.
- “Adapting Tyler Perry: Madea Goes to Jail.” Interpreting Tyler Perry: Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality. (Routledge Transformations in Race and Media). Ed. Jamel Bell and Ronald L. Jackson. New York: Routledge, 2014. 114-128.
- “Demystifying the Modern Mammy in Requiem for a Nun.” Faulkner and Film. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2014.
- “Moonshine and Magnolias: The Story of Temple Drake and Birth of a Nation.” Special Editor, Jay Watson. Faulkner Journal 22.1&2 (Fall 2006/Spring 2007): 140-175. Reprinted in Faulkner and Whiteness. Ed. Jay Watson. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, (2011).