Arielle Zibrak

ZibrakProfessor of English

Hoyt Hall 239,



Arielle Zibrak is a Professor of English and Gender and Women's Studies and director of the English Honors Program. She is also the founder and director of both the Bruce Richardson Lectures in the Humanities, a series that brings renowned scholars to campus and the community in Laramie and Casper, and the Dinner with Direction program for students and faculty on the Laramie campus.

She is the author of Avidly Reads Guilty Pleasures (NYU Press, 2021) and Writing Against Reform: Aesthetic Realism in the Progressive Era (UMass Press, 2023), and the editor of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Twelve Stories by American Women (Penguin Classics, 2025).

Current book projects include a monograph titled In the Image of Their Own Desires on the New Thought movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its impact on the popular literature and feminist movements of the period, and a collection of essays called The Ghost in the Mirror about how we process historical trauma.

Her public-facing writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Baffler, McSweeney’s, and LitHub and has been praised by PopMatters, BookForum, and The New York Times. Read more about her writing at

She began teaching at the University of Wyoming in 2014 and received the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award in 2017 and the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Research Award in 2021. She is also the secretary of The Edith Wharton Society and the Director of the Complete Works of Rebecca Harding Davis Online:


Ph.D., English, Boston University

M.A., English,  Boston University

B.A., English, University of Rochester

Recent and Upcoming Courses

ENGL 5050: Writing for the Public Humanities

ENGL 5320: Realism & Naturalism

ENGL 5530: Modern Critical Theory and Practice

ENGL 3500: 19th-Century American Literature

ENGL 3600: 20th-Century American Literature

ENGL 5000: The Fiction of Reform

ENGL 4640/WMST 4500: American Women Writers

ENGL 4450: African American Novel

Selected Journal Articles

“At Sea on the Plains with James Beckwourth” J19 (2023)

 “Power of Body / Power of Mind: Arts & Crafts, New Thought, and Popular Women’s Fiction.” American Literature 93.4 (2021): 601–628.

 “Roundtable on The Age of Innocence.”  The Edith Wharton Review 36.3 (2020): 181-204 (co-authored)

 “Mimesis and ‘the man marriage’: Protesting Marital Rape in Rebecca Harding Davis’s “The Second Life.’” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 49.7 (2020): 748-765.

 “Kissing a Photograph: Reproductive Panic in Kate Chopin and Thomas Hardy,” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 58.3 (2017): 355-374.

 “The Woman Who Hated Sex: Undine Spragg and the Trouble with ‘Bother,’” Edith Wharton Review 32 (2016): 1-19.

 “Writing Behind a Curtain: Rebecca Harding Davis and Celebrity Reform,” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.4 (2014): 522-556.

 “Intolerance, a Survival Guide: Heteronormative Culture Formation in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,” Arizona Quarterly 68.3 (2012): 103-128.

Research Interests

The Public Humanities, Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century American Literature, Literary Realism and Naturalism, The Fin de Siècle, Social Reform, Victorian Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Feminism, Aesthetic Theory

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