Allison P. Palumbo

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  • Graduate instructor
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies

Allison P. Palumbo is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department planning to defend her dissertation March 2016 and graduate in May. She has a master's in literature from Florida State university. For three years, she worked as a mentor for the Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Division, helping new graduate instructors teach the UK Core curriculum for WRD 110 and 111. She currently teaches online for WRD and works with the A&S IT group as a the Blackboard facilitator for the WRD110 and 111 online courses she developed for the division

Using varied gender-oriented methodologies, her scholarship focuses on twentieth-century American texts, including film. She has published two articles on Henry Miller’s Tropics trilogy, developed from her master's thesis, and spring of 2011, her seminar paper analyzing Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005) earned an award for the best critical paper in the University of Kentucky English department.

Her dissertation, “Strong, Independent, and in Love: Fighting Female Fantasies in Popular Culture,” argues that fighting female relationship narratives reveal a new cache of plausible empowered female identities that women negotiate through their intimacies and romances with men. These negotiations enable novel depictions of male-female intimacies that challenge long-standing cultural scripts about the nature of dominance and subordination in such relationships. Scholarship about the fighting female—defined by her ability to use violence to save herself and others—by critics like Sherrie Inness, Rikke Schubart, and Phillipa Gates tends to ignore the intimate relationships the character has with men or critique them based on the idea that such hetero-relationships inevitably limit her agency and attenuate her representation as a feminist-friendly heroine. Allison, however, combines analysis of American culture with close readings of film and television texts since the 1980s to demonstrate ways that some relationship narratives project feminist-friendly love fantasies that reassure audiences of the desirability of empowered women while also imagining egalitarian intimacies that further empower women.

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