Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 125
Phone: +1-508-831-5246
Fax: +1-508-831-5932

Kristin Boudreau

Kristin Boudreau’s research interests involve the ways literature reflects on and intervenes in cultural transformations. Professor Boudreau has written about the literature of slavery, the labor movement, capital cases, and modernization. After teaching in English departments for 17 years, she came to WPI in 2009 to chair the Department of Humanities and Arts, where she has taught HUA writing courses, Inquiry Seminars, and literature courses, has co-taught the Great Problems Seminar "Feed the World," and has advised and co-advised IQPs.

Like many faculty in the Humanities and Arts Department, Boudreau enjoys not only digging into her disciplinary research (19th-century American literature) but also stretching to join that disciplinary perspective to the topics of science and technology that are so important to WPI’s students and faculty. Long interested in the literature of the nineteenth century and African American and working-class history and culture, she is now collaborating with colleagues in the Gordon Library and the Departments of Computer Science and Social Science and Policy Studies to bring these interests into conversation with the engineering challenge of restoring clean water to developing communities. Her team’s goal is to design a series of classroom simulations that can approximate projects where actual projects are unfeasible. With students and colleagues she has developed an interdisciplinary role-playing simulation, “Worcester 1899: The Sanitary Engineering Challenge,” and is working on another simulation based in contemporary rural Ghana. These simulations approach the engineering challenge of ensuring clean water while providing a rich cultural context that attends to historical particulars while also teaching a variety of disciplinary approaches.

Research Interests

  • American literature, 17th-21st century
  • African American literature


  • BA, Cornell University, 1986
  • MA, University of Rochester, 1989
  • PhD, University of Rochester, 1992

Featured Publications

  • Henry James's Daisy Miller (Broadview edition, co-edited with Megan Stoner Morgan), 2012
  • Henry James's Narrative Technique: Consciousness, Perception, and Cognition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • The Spectacle of Death: Populist Literary Responses to American Capital Cases (Prometheus, 2006)
  • Sympathy in American Literature: American Sentiments from Jefferson to the Jameses (Florida, 2002)

View a Complete List (.pdf, 236kb)

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