Lara Karpenko, Carroll University faculty

Dr. Lara Karpenko

Associate Professor of English 262.524.7257 MacAllister Hall 311


English and Writing


  • University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. in English, 2006
  • University of Notre Dame, M.A. in English, 2001
  • University of California at Los Angeles, M.Ed. in Education, 1998
  • University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A. in English, 1996

Areas of Specialization

Victorian studies, gender studies, visual culture studies, scholarship of teaching and learning

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Books: Edited Collection

Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age. Lara Karpenko and Shalyn Claggett, eds. and introduction. University of Michigan Press, 2017.

Articles: Victorian Studies

“‘So Extraordinary a Bond”: Mesmerism and Sympathetic Identification in Charles Adams’s Notting Hill Mystery.” Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age. Eds. Lara Karpenko and Shalyn Claggett. University of Michigan Press, 2017.

“‘A nasty thumping at the top of your head': Muscularity, Masculinity, and Physical Reading in The Moonstone.” The Victorian Review vol. 38, no. 1, 2012, 133-154.

“‘Printed Words that Gave . . . Pain’: Physiological Response and Deformito-Mania in The Old Curiosity Shop.” Nineteenth- Century Studies vol. 24, 2010, 37-53.

“Purchasing Largely: Trilby and the Fin de Siècle Reader.” Victorians Institute Journal vol. 34, 2006, 215-241.

“‘A Sort of Fascination in the Horrible’: The Spectacular World of the Victorian Freak Show.” New Literary Review vol. 70, 2004, 159-168.

Articles: Teaching and Learning

“Thinking as a Student: Stimulating Peer Education with an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in the Humanities  Classroom.” Lara Karpenko and Steven Schauz. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: forthcoming.

“The 21st Century Digital Student: Google Books as a Tool in Promoting Undergraduate Research.” Lara Karpenko and Lauri Dietz. Journal of Effective Teaching vol. 13, no. 1, 2013, 89-106.

Guest Editor

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. Edited and introduced a special issue (with Lauri Dietz) “Bridging the Divide: Teaching Nineteenth-Century Literature and Gender in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom,” vol. 11, no. 4, 2016.

Honors and Awards


  • Interviewed (along with undergraduate Steven Schauz) by Brandon Haskey for Scrawl Radio, Chicago, IL. Radio. Discussed work conducted with Steven. In particular, we spoke about the undergraduate teaching assistant program we piloted. November 2015
  • Gender Studies Program Graduate Research Award. Competitive Award granted by the Program Of Gender Studies for research on Muscular Christianity and Mid-Victorian Masculinity. University of Notre Dame, 2005
  • John A. Kaneb Award for Excellence in Teaching. Competitive Teaching Award granted by the College of Arts and Letters. University of Notre Dame, 2003

Grants Awarded

  • Faculty Scholarship and Professional Activity Grant. Competitive research award granted by Carroll University for travel to the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, NY for work on the autograph copy of Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. Carroll University, 2009

What is your teaching style?

In my teaching, my goal is to create an interactive environment in which students engage with primary and secondary sources in order to theorize and write their own critical stances in regards to literature, history, theory and cultural phenomena.

Why do you do what you do?

While I certainly hope that students fondly remember or even become inspired by the set of texts that I teach in any given semester, my approach to education is ultimately fueled by my sincere belief that literary studies can potentially motivate all students to participate more vigorously and more sensitively in our rapidly changing world.

How do you make learning engaging?

Within my classroom, I seek to provide a space where all students, no matter what their initial skill level, can succeed, thrive and become literary scholars and writers.

What should students know about you?

I sincerely love this career. Reading, writing and teaching are my passions.

pano of main campus