University of Wisconsin-
Eau Claire

English Department

Debra K. S. Barker

Hibbard Hall 426

Office Hours: 1-2 TWR, 2:30-3:30 W, and by appointment


Publications   Conference Presentations   Awards/Honors   Memberships

1989  Ball State University, Muncie, IN. Ph.D., English/Composition
1978  University of Missouri-Columbia, M.A., English
1976  Ball State University, Muncie, IN.  B.S., English, Cum Laude and with Honors

Associate Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Department of English and American Indian Studies Program

Areas of Teaching
American Indian Literatures, American Literature, Rhetoric and composition

Areas of Scholarship and Research
American Indian Literature (with a  particular interest in the work of Lakota authors); the representation  of American Indians in American culture; the short fiction of W. Somerset Maugham; the rhetoric of colonial discourse.

 "Tracking the Memories of the Heart: Approaches to Teaching Louise Erdrich's Tales of Burning Love." In Approaches to Teaching the Novels and Poetry of Louise Erdrich. Eds. Greg Sarris, Connie Jacobs, and James Giles.  New York: Modern Language Association of America.  Forthcoming in 2003.

"Kill the Indian, Save the Child:  Cultural Genocide and the Boarding School."  In American Indian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Issues. Ed. Dane Morrison. New York: Peter Lang, 1997.

"Passages of Descent and Initiation:  Juana as the 'Other' Hero of The Pearl.” In After the Grapes of Wrath: Essays on John Steinbeck in Honor of Tetsumaro Hayashi.  Athens: Ohio U P, 1994.

"Sacred Spoils."  (Article on grave desecrations and the market demand for American Indian art and artifacts.)  Arts Indiana. March 1993.

Review article on American Indian Women by Marion Gridley. Masterplots II.  Pasadena: Salem Press, 1993.

Review article on Crazy Horse, Warrior of the Sioux by Shannon Garst.  Masterplots II.  Pasadena: Salem Press, 1993.

"Alan Sillitoe."  St. James Reference Guide to English Literature, 2nd edition.  London: St. James Press, 1991.

"Richard Feverel's Passage to Knighthood."  ANQ (Formerly American Notes & Queries) 3.4 (1990):168-71.

Review article of In the Circles of Fear and Desire: A Study of Gothic Fantasy. by William Patrick Day.  Published in The Balcones Review.  Summer 1987.

Publications in Progress
“Write/Right us Back into History:  The Politics of the Representation of American Indians in Textbooks.”  Images of American Indians in Books For Young People. Ed. Heidi Burns.  New York: Peter Lang.  Forthcoming in 2004.

"Inventing Traditions:  Strategies of Subversion and Resistance in the Poetry of Louise Erdrich."

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Conference Presentations
“The Politics of Indian Hating in the Twenty-First Century.”  National Association for Ethnic Studies.  Vancouver, BC, Canada. 6 April 2002.

“Act 31: Educating for Social Justice in Indian Country.”  Wisconsin Indian Education Association Conference.  8 April 2002.

“Teaching Native Literatures.”  Native American Indian Literature Symposium.  Minneapolis, MN. 11 April 2002.

"Kill Colonialism, Save the Indian!  What Boarding School Stories Teach Us about Survival and Sovereignty."  Modern Language Association Conference.  New Orleans, LA.  29 December 2001.

"Write/Right Us Back into History: The Politics of the Representation of American Indians in Textbooks."  Modern Language Association Conference.  New Orleans, LA.  28 December 2001.  Note: I wrote the proposal and organized this Special Session panel, titled "Racist Fantasies: Images of American Indians in Books for Young People."                                                                                                    

"Eleven Years Later:  Is Act 31 Still Relevant?"  Annual Act 31 Symposium. University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  Platteville, WI.  November 2, 2001. Note: I was invited to deliver this talk as the keynote address of the conference.

"White Privilege, Red Oppression: Decoding Colonialism in the Indian Studies Classroom."  11th Annual Women's Studies Conference--"All Women of Red Nations: Weaving Connections."  October 13, 2001.  New Haven, Conn.

"Myth, History, and Resistance in the Classroom: Some Issues and Challenges of an Anti-racist Pedagogy."  National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference--"Race, Ethnicity, and Pedagogy in the 21st Century."  New Orleans, LA.  30 March 2001.

"New Voices from the Lakota Oyate: Delphine Red Shirt and Joseph Marshall III." American Literature Association's "Native American Literature Symposium." Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  2 December 2000.

"Cultural Resistance, John Wayne's Teeth, and the Politics of American Indian Poetry." UWEC Faculty/Academic Staff Forum presentation.  8 November 2000.

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"The Challenges of Act 31 Compliance: American History, Sacred Cows, and Ethnocentric Mythologies."  Act 31 Symposium. Univ of Wisconsin-Platteville. 3 November 2000.

"Educating Anglo Children about Indians: A Field Report from Wisconsin." American Culture Association Conference.  New Orleans, LA.  20 April 2000. 

"Political Women, Liminal Lives: The Art and Politics of Zitkala-Sa and Ella Deloria."  Modern Language Association Conference.  Chicago, ILL. 28 December 1999.

"Inventing Traditions: Louise Erdrich's Strategies of Subversion and Resistance." American Literature Association Conference. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 12 November 1999.

"Love, Death, and Transformations in Louise Erdrich's Tales of Burning Love." Anishinaabeg of the Great Lakes Region Symposium on History, Culture, and Contemporary Issues.  UWEC. 30 September 1999.

"Tales of Disenchantment for the Indian Literature Classroom."  National Council of Teachers of English Conference.  Tucson, AZ.  1 May 1999.

"Shifting Shapes, Shoveling Cow Pies, and Asking New Questions: The Latest Chapters in an Alumna's Professional Autobiography."  Ball State University Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. April 1, 1999.

"Mitakuye Oyasin: Making Connections in the Indian Literature Classroom." Modern Language Association Conference. Washington, D.C. December 30, 1996.

"Teaching on the Frontier of Difference: Deconstructing 'Whiteness' and ‘Otherness' in the Multicultural Classroom."  Conference of College Composition and Communication.  Milwaukee, WI.  March 18, 1996.

"Fields of Desire in the Oriental Journeys of Maugham's Exotic Fiction."  W. Somerset Maugham:  A Summing Up.  Conference sponsored by the Armstrong Browning Library.  Baylor University.  January 20, 1996.

"Teaching the Research Paper:  Strategies for the Evolving Classroom."  South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference.  Atlanta, Georgia.  November 3, 1995.

"Native American/Woman/Other: Politics and Pedagogy in the Introductory American Indian Literature Classroom."  American Women Writers of Color Conference.  Ocean City, Maryland.  October 6, 1995.

"The American Indian Studies Program at UW-Eau Claire."  Symposium on Curricular, Pedagogical, and Research Issues in Racial/Ethnic Studies.  University of Wisconsin-Madison.  April 6, 1995.

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"Voices in the Present Telling: Constructions of Myth and History in Momaday's The Ancient Child."  MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States) Annual Conference.  Texas A&M University. April 30, 1994.

"Visions of the Green World:  Miller's and O'Neill's Treatment of the Participation Mystique."  The National Conference of the American Culture Association.  San Antonio, Texas.  March 28, 1991.

"Songs of Experience: Juana as the 'Other' Hero in Steinbeck's The Pearl."  Lecture presented at the Carol Ann Kendrick Memorial Lecture Series, sponsored by the Steinbeck Research Institute and the Ball State University English Department.  Muncie, Indiana.  November 8, 1990.

"The Symbolic Pulse:  Blood Symbolism in Faulkner's 'The Old People.'"   The International Conference of American Culture Association. Toronto, Ontario.  March 10, 1990.                                        

"The Counterpoint of Dualities in Strindberg's Miss Julie." International Conference on Representing the Revolution in Literature and the Visual Arts.  Atlanta, Georgia.  October 29, 1989.         

"Patterns of Experience:  Structure to Theme in Meredith's The Ordeal of Richard Feverel. Indiana College English Association Conference.  Indianapolis, Indiana.  October 6, 1989.

"The Vagrant Confessor:  Maugham's First-Person Narrator as the Outsider."  International Conference on the Outsider in Literature and Film.  Atlanta, Georgia.  October 29, 1988.                                                     

"W. Somerset Maugham's 'The Fall of Edward Barnard':  A Rhetorical Analysis."  National Literature Conference of the City Colleges of Chicago.  Chicago, Illinois.  October 14, 1988.

"The Threshing Wheel of Fortune:  Demonic Imagery in Tess of the d'Urbervilles."  Indiana College English Association Conference.  Muncie, Indiana.  September 30, 1988.                                              

"In the Jungle of the Human Heart:  Realism and Irony in Selected Stories from W. Somerset Maugham's East and West."  Indiana College English Association Conference.  Indianapolis, Indiana.  October 2, 1987.

"Evaluation:  New Directions in Effective Teacher Response to Student Writing." The International Conference of American and Popular Culture.  Montreal, Canada.  March 28, 1987.

"Why Johnny Thinks Moby Dick Was a Boxer:  The Issue of Cultural Literacy in the Composition Classroom."  Conference of the City Colleges of Chicago.  Chicago, Illinois. October 18, 1986.

"Time After Time:  Using Magazines as Resources in the Composition Classroom."  The National Conference of American and Popular Culture.  Atlanta, Georgia.  April 6, 1986.

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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Distinguished Faculty Award.  American Ethnic Coordinating Office. 22 September 2000.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire University Research and Creative Activity Grant, 2000.  "That the People May Live:  An Examination of Early Sioux Nationalism in the Works of Ella Deloria and Zitkala Sa."

University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity Grant, 2000.  "Lives Made of Words: American Indian Autobiographies and Life Writings."

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire University Research and Creative Activity Grant, 1999.  "Tracking the Memories of the Heart: Approaches       to Teaching Louise Erdrich's Tales of Burning Love."

1999 Distinguished Alumna Award.  Ball State University English Department.  Muncie, Indiana.  2 April 1999.

1997-98, 1996-97, 1995-96, 1994-95 Outstanding Teaching Award.  English Department, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

1994  Penrod Writers' Award: First Place in the Essay Category for "Sacred Spoils."  Judge: William Whitworth, Editor, The Atlantic Monthly.

1990  Fellowship Award from the International Steinbeck Society

2000, 1998, 1989   Who's Who Among America's Teachers

1989  Outstanding Dissertation Award.  Ball State University.

1989  Merit Award for Scholarship and Excellence in Teaching. Ball State English Department.  Ball State University.                            

1986  Research Scholarship Award.  Steinbeck Research Institute.  Ball State University.

1989,1988,1987,1986   Merit Award for Scholarship and excellence in teaching.  Ball State English    Department.

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American Literature Association

Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures

International Steinbeck Society

MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States)

National Association for Ethnic Studies

National Council of Teachers of English

Modern Language Association

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Wisconsin Indian Education Association

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