Picture of Cynthia Wallace, STM

Cynthia Wallace, STM B.A. (Cedarville), M.A., Ph.D. (Loyola Chicago) Associate Professor

St. Thomas More 213

Research Area(s)

  • Catholic writers
  • Postcolonial literature
  • Women writers and feminist theory
  • Religion and literature
  • Ethical theory

About me

Professor Wallace teaches and researches in the areas of religion and literature, postcolonial literature, women writers, and literary ethics. Her current research explores the prevalence of attention as an ethical ideal among women writing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially against a backdrop of attention deficits and surpluses.

Her first book, Of Women Borne: A Literary Ethics of Suffering, was published in March 2016 by Columbia University Press. (http://cup.columbia.edu/book/of-women-borne/9780231173681)


Selection of Publications (by Year)

  • Wallace, C. "Attention, Representation, and Unsettlement in Katherena Vermette’s The Break, or, Teaching and (Re)Learning the Ethics of Reading". Humanities 8, 4 (2019)
  • Wallace, C. ""passionate reverence / active love": Levertov and Weil in the Communion of Struggle" In this need to dance/this need to kneel: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith, edited by Michael P. Murphy and Melissa Bradshaw. Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2019.
  • Wallace, C. "A Cloud of Unknowing: Anticolonial Ethics in Louise Erdrich's *The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse*". Contemporary Literature 59, 4 (2018)
  • Wallace, C. "To the World: Ana Castillo's *The Guardians* and Literature after Vatican II" In Turning to the World: Social Justice and the Common Good Since Vatican II, edited by Carl N. Still and Gertrude Rompré, 125-139. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.
  • Wallace, C. ""Whatever Else We Call It": The Great Price of Secular Sainthood in Mary Gordon's *Pearl*". Religion and Literature 48, 3 (2016): 1-25.
  • Wallace, C. Of Women Borne: A Literary Ethics of Suffering. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2016.
  • Wallace, C. "L as Language: Love and Ethics". African American Review 47, 2-3 (2014): 375-390.
  • Wallace, C. "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and the Paradoxes of Postcolonial Redemption". Christianity and literature 61, 3 (2012): 465-483.
  • Wallace, C. "In the Beginning: Beloved and the Religious Word of Psychoanalysis". Literature and Theology 25, 3 (2011): 268-282.


20th Century Adrienne Rich Ana Castillo Annie Dillard Catholic Chimamanda Adichie Mary Gordon Simone Weil Toni Morrison attention contemporary ethics feminism gender life writing postcolonial postmodern redemption religion representation suffering theory women women writers

Cynthia R. Wallace teaches and researches in religion and literature, contemporary literature, women writers, postcolonial literature, and literary theory, especially literary ethics and feminist theory. She has published articles and book chapters on Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mary Gordon, Adrienne Rich, Ana Castillo, and Denise Levertov. Her first book, Of Women Borne: A Literary Ethics of Suffering (Columbia UP, 2016) theorizes a dynamic interplay of readerly attention and literary representation in contemporary women's writing. Currently she's at work on a creative manuscript on embodied suffering and attention as well as a scholarly manuscript on the surprising influence of philosopher-mystic Simone Weil on twentieth- and twenty-first century feminist writers' ethical and political ideals.

Awards & Honours

  • USSU Teaching Excellence Award, awarded by University of Saskatchewan Students' Union April 2020
  • Lionel Basney Award for the Most Ouststanding Aricle of the Year, awarded by Conference on Christianity and Literature USA December 2012
  • President's Medallion for Scholarship, Leadership, and Service, awarded by Loyola University Chicago USA November 2011