Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content
Alison Sainsbury

Associate Professor of English


Ph.D. Cornell University, 1995
M.A. Cornell University, 1989
M.A. University of Colorado, 1982
B.A. University of Colorado, 1976

Courses Frequently Taught:
Gateway: Understanding Comix

English 123: Bad Girls
English 129: Third World Women Speak
English 170: Literature of the Iraq War
English 206: Creative Nonfiction
English 220: Thinking Like a Mountain: Literature and Environmental Consciousness
English 346: Victorian Literature
English 365: Autobiography
English 370: The Empire Writes Back

Selected Honors and Awards:
Finalist, Bakeless Literary Prize, for memoir Lost River, 2010
CIC-CAORC-Dept. of State, Seminar Program, in Jordan, "Teaching about Islam and Middle Eastern Culture" Dec. 2006-Jan. 2007.
Rockefeller Foundation Grant, Course Development in Environmental Studies, 2000, 2002
U.S. Dept. of Education Grant, Course Development in International Studies, 1992, 1993
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 2000
1998 IWU Artistic and Scholarly Development Grant, travel to South Africa.
1996 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College Teachers, Literature and Culture in Contemporary South Africa, 1948-1994, in South Africa.
Junior Faculty Leave, Illinois Wesleyan University, 1995

Selected Publications and Presentations:
— "'Not Yet, Not There': Breaking the Bonds of Marriage in E.M. Forster's A Passage to India." Critical Survey, Volume 21, No. 1, 2009, 59-73.  Invited Contributor.
— "Married to the Empire: the Anglo-Indian Domestic Novel" in Writing India 1757-1990, edited by B.J. Moore-Gilbert, Manchester University Press, 1996, 163-187. Reprinted in Forster's A Passage to India: An Anthology of Recent Criticism, ed. G.K. Das and C.R. Devadaswson, Pencraft international (Delhi), 2005
— "The Marriage of India and England: Gender and Imperialism in the Work of Maud Diver" Property, Commodity, Culture: Cultural Studies Symposium, March 1997. 
— "The Problem of Madness in A Question of Power" Bessie Head Conference, National University of Singapore, October 1996. 

Faculty Status:
Tenured, on the faculty at IWU since 1991; next sabbatical, 2019-20
Chair, English Department, 2004-2008
Director, Women's Studies Program, 1996-2003

Professional and Personal:
I am a Westerner, born in Alaska, raised in California and Colorado.  My most recent work is a book-length family memoir, Lost River, a meditation on loss and the consolation of place.