Etta MaddenAbout Etta Madden

Etta Madden is the author or editor of four books, which consider American women writers, Italy, and utopian literature and intentional communities: Engaging Italy: American Women’s Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks (SUNY Press), Eating in Eden: Food and American Utopias (U Nebraska Press), Selections from Eliza Leslie (U Nebraska Press), and Bodies of Life: Shaker Literature and Literacies (Greenwood).

The recipient of a Fulbright award, Etta has been a research fellow at the New York Public Library, a Visiting Scholar (2023) and an NEH Seminar participant (2013) at the American Academy in Rome, and a two-time recipient of a Mellon Fellowship from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

She has taught courses on American literature, women writers, and utopian visions at Missouri State University, where she joined the faculty as a professor with a PhD in English in 1995.

Etta’s teaching, writing and speaking on these wide-ranging topics emerge from a longstanding interest in what it means to be an individual within communities—religious and spiritual communities, in particular; what it means to be a woman in a world where gender roles are in flux; and the roles of writing and reading for intellectual and emotional health.

While studying abroad as an undergraduate, Etta fell in love with Italy—the people, the culture, the language—and has returned as often as her career and family will allow.

Whether writing, teaching or speaking, Etta brings forward ideas from history which are still pressing today. Topics of past and upcoming talks are listed on the Events page.

To learn more about Etta’s public talks and trips, sign up to receive her newsletter, “All Things Italy. . . and a little bit more.”

For more details about her work and how it may connect with your interests, contact Etta.