Janine Utell is an award-winning writer, teacher, and editor. Her areas of interest include modernist studies, multimodal narrative (including film and comics), life writing, and the intersections among gender, sexuality, affect, intimacy, and ethics.
She is the author of three books, Literary Couples and 20th-Century Life Writing: Narrative and Intimacy (Bloomsbury, 2019), Engagements with Narrative (Routledge, 2015) and James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). She is the editor of the volumes Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English (MLA Publications, 2021) and The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In (University Press of Mississippi, 2020). These collections feature both established scholars and exciting new voices.
Several new projects are in the works: a biography of LGBTQ comix artist and activist Howard Cruse, a book with the working title “Women and Bullshit: Rhetorics of Anger in 20th-Century Women’s Writing”; and two edited volumes—one (in collaboration with Amanda Latz, Ball State University) entitled “Unfurling Unflattening: Tracing Theoretical, Methodological, and Pedagogical Possibilities,” bringing together a variety of perspectives on Nick Sousanis’s groundbreaking graphic work Unflattening; and the other “Making Queer Comics: Foundations and Touchstones” (advance contract, University Press of Mississippi), gathering studies of foundational figures in early LGBTQ+ comics.
In addition to her writing, Janine serves on the Advisory Boards for Woolf Studies Annual and the Orlando Project, and is frequently invited to facilitate workshops and panels focused on writing, peer review, and publishing. She currently serves as Secretary for the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, is First Vice President for the Modernist Studies Association, and is a member of the Executive Committee for the GS Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives for the Modern Language Association. She served as the Editor of The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914–1945 from 2015 to 2020.
Janine has written on topics related to higher education, the humanities, writing and productivity, and leadership and mentoring (all with frequent references to her obsessions with cooking and baseball) as a former contributor to the University of Venus blog at Inside Higher Ed, an occasional contributor to Hybrid Pedagogy, and as a guest blogger at the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is the Homer C. Nearing, Jr. Distinguished Professor in English and English and Creative Writing department chair at Widener University, where in addition she serves as an affiliated faculty member in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies program and as founder and facilitator of the Widener University Faculty Writing Group. She lives in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia.