Leslie W. Lewis is Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of English, with specializations in American literature and African American literature, critical race studies and feminist theory. Her current projects focus on integrative learning and liberal education, liberal education and the arts of teaching, the journals of James F. Brown as a project in the digital humanities, and sustainable farming as a metaphor for higher education. A long-term project focuses on power, difference, and the science fiction of African American writer Octavia Butler.
Telling Narratives (University of Illinois Press, 2007) is characterized by William L, Andrews, editor of The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, as "A provocative unveiling of secrets in African American literature from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1920s. Uncovering what was and is at stake in the discourse of secrecy in African American literature and culture, Lewis helps readers see its grounding in 'master-female slave moments.' The analysis of interracial and sexual secrets is enlightening and instructive."