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Jennifer L Lieberman

Assoc Professor

English | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

American and African-American literature and culture (especially 19th and 20th century); the history of medicine, science, and technology; science and technology studies; critical pedagogy; critical race and gender studies.


Ph.D. English

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 2011


M.A. English

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



B.S. Mathematics

University of Florida



B.A. English

University of Florida



Jennifer L. Lieberman is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Florida (UNF), and author of Power Lines: Electricity in American Life and Letters, 1882-1952which is now available from MIT Press and Amazon ($30 for a hard copy | $21 for an ebook). If you are interested to hear about the book before you buy it or check it out from your library, you can listen to this Cultures of Energy podcast, where Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe interview Jennifer about the book.



At the University of North Florida, Jenni was a 2016-2017 Community Scholar in the Center for Community Based Learning, she is the 2017 Fellow for the Florida Blue Center for Ethics, and she earned UNF's Presidential Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2017 for her exceptional work in the classroom and community. The student honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, also presented her with an award for excellence in teaching in 2015.


Before she started this position, she completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in May 2011, when she graduated with distinction and with a minor in gender and women's studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida. From 2011-2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Cornell University’s Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS). An interdisciplinary scholar, Jenni has held fellowships at the Bakken Library and Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. The research she conducted in these intellectual communities suffuses her teaching and her other scholarly endeavors. In addition to her book, her recent work can be found in JLS (the journal of literature and science, 2017),  Configurations (with Ronald Kline, 2017), History and Technology (2016), The Eaton Journal of Archival Science Fiction (2016), MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature in the US (2015), in the collection of original work, Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism(University of Iowa, 2012), and in the Mark Twain Annual (2010). She also an article forthcoming in Studies in the Novel (2017).


Since 2004, she has taught courses to conventional and incarcerated college students on topics including composition, gender and women’s studies, the history of medicine, STS, and American literature and culture including work by multiethnic writers. Her current book project, tentatively titled The Literary and Technological Imaginaries of the American Prison, examines the prison using methodologies from literary studies and STS.


Florida Blue Center for Ethics Fellow, 2017

Community Scholar, Center for Community-Based Learning, University of North Florida, 2016-2017

Finalist, Campus-wide Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of North Florida, 2016 

Certified online teacher, Center for Instructional Research Technology, 2016
Her online distance-learning American Literature course received a perfect score on an internal Quality Matters review.

Award for Teaching Excellence, Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, 2015

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cornell University, 2011-2013

R.D. Mullen Research Fellowship, University of California, Riverside, 2011

Nicholson Fellowship, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009-2010

Humanities, Arts, Science, & Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009-2011

Dibner Library Resident Scholarship, Smithsonian Institution, 2009

Visiting Research Fellowship, Bakken Library and Museum, Minneapolis, MN, 2008


American Association of University Women
American Studies Association
Mark Twain Circle of America
Modern Language Association
MELUS: Multi-ethnic Literature in the US
Society for the History of Technology
Society for the Social Studies of Science
Society for the Study of American Women Writers
Younger Women’s Task Force

Publications & Presentations



Power Lines: Electricity in American Life and Letters, 1882-1952. MIT Press, 2017.


Selected Articles


"Women's Power in the American West: Mary Hallock Foote and Honoré Willsie Morrow's Tales of Electrification." Studies in the Novel 49.3 (2017): page numbers forthcoming.


"Finding a Place for Technology." JLS: Journal of Literature and Science 10.1 (2017): 26-31.


Lieberman, J. and Ronald R. Kline. "Dream of an Unfettered Electrical Future: Nikola Tesla, the Electrical Utopian Novel, and an Alternative American Sociotechnical Imaginary." Configurations 25.1 (January 2017): 1-27.


"Recovering John Trowbridge: A Master of Electricity, Education, and Sentimentality.Eaton Journal of Archival Science Fiction 4.1 (2016): 4-23.


"The Myth of the First African-American Electrical Engineer: Arthur U. Craig and the Importance of Teaching in Technological History." History and Technology 32.1 (2016): 70-90. 


"Ralph Ellison's Technological Humanism." MELUS: Multi-ethnic Literature in the US 40.4 (Winter 2015): 8-27.


"Electric Sensations and Executions in Gertrude Atherton's Patience Sparhawk and Her Times." Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism in the United States. Ed. Kathleen Ryan. University of Iowa Press, 2012: 162 – 180.


"Hank Morgan's Power Play: Electrical Networks in King Arthur's Court." The Mark Twain Annual 8 (2010): 61 – 75.



Selected Presentations


"Electronic Monitoring, Mass Incarceration, and the American Sociotechnical Imaginary," Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), Boston, MA, 2017.


"Mark Twain and the Technological Fallacy," Mark Twain Quadrennial Conference, Elmira, NY, 2017.


"Incarceration versus Financialization: Margaret Atwood's and John Edgar Wideman's Representations of Prison Culture," MELUS: Multi-ethnic Literature in the US, Boston, MA, 2017.


"The Intimate Entanglement of Literary and Technology Studies," Modern Language Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 2016. 


"Technology and the Performance of Blackness," MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature in the US, Charleston, SC, 2016.


"Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Electric Revolutions," Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Philadephia, PA, 2015.


"The Machine in the Garden Fifty Years Later," organizer and roundtable participant, Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association. Los Angeles, 2014.


"Ralph Ellison, Technology, and the Sanctity of Human Selfhood," Annual Meeting for the Modern Language Association. Boston, 2013.


"Teaching Women Writers to Incarcerated Men," Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Denver, Colorado, 2012.


"Systems and Symbols: Narratives of Technological Choice in the History of U.S. Electrical Power Distribution, 1890-1914," Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012.


"Charged Words: Metaphor, Electricity, and American History," Science and Technology Studies Seminar Series, Cornell University, 2012.


"Black Body Radiation: Medical Technologies in Afrofuturist Visions." Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Kitchener, Ontario, 2011.


"Nuptials and Networks: The Romance of Western Electrification." Futures of American Studies Summer Institute. Dartmouth College, 2010.


"Mark Twain's Electrical Realism." American Literature Association. San Francisco, CA, 2010.

Contact Information

Building 0008, Room 2649

(904) 620-1249

Office Hours

email for current office hours