Elaine O'Quinn

Academic Specialty:

Adolescent Literature, Teaching of Composition: Theory and Pedagogy, Issues in English Studies, Ethnographic Research, Girls' Studies


  • Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (GO HOKIES!)

Dr. O'Quinn joined the Dept. of English in 1999. She is co-director of the BS in English Education program. She is also a member of the Women Studies faculty and the Appalachian Studies faculty. Her courses address the complex issues of teaching English in American society. Dr. O'Quinn's research interests include critical literacy, the sociopolitical dynamics of reading and writing, gender in the English classroom, and democracy and literacy. Dr. O'Quinn is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers in Arts and Sciences at ASU, and she has also received the Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Advisor. In Spring of 2012, the Belk Library dedicated the Elaine J. O'Quinn Girls' Studies Special Collection in honor of Dr. O'Quinn's donation of vintage books for girls:

"The Elaine J. O'Quinn Girls' Studies Collection consists primarily of popular literature intended for early to mid-twentieth century adolescent girl readers. Series represented are Ruth Fielding, Cherry Ames, Vicki Barr, Beverly Gray, Dana Girls, Connie Blair, and Judy Bolton. Other titles include Campfire Girls, Bobbsey Twins, Honey Bunch, and Donna Parker. The collection also includes a selection of series books for boys, reference works, early comic books featuring girls and women, and ephemeral periodicals. When complete, the collection will include the first 56 books in the Nancy Drew series in various editions.The collection contains many first editions and examples of book jacket and cover art.

The books were collected by Appalachian State University Professor of English Dr. Elaine J. O'Quinn, who researches, writes and teaches about the literature and literacy of girls. The collection forms a significant theme within the Children's Literature Collection and complements similar books already part of the collection. Currently there are over 600 titles."   

She is also the 2012 recipient of the North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Award.

Selected Publications:

  • O’Quinn, E. J. (2022). “ Women Holding Up the World: Collage with Narrative.” Public Art Exhibit. Looking Glass Gallery. Boone, NC.

  • O’Quinn, E.J. (2021). “ Women Holding Up the World: Collage with Narrative.” Public Art Exhibit. Jones House. Boone, NC.
  • O’Quinn, E.J. (2019). "Art as the Word and the Word as Art in Two Poems: Fresh Snow and Entangled.” Journal of Language and Literacy Education.
  • O’Quinn, E.J. (2018). “Like Dancing on the Moon.” English Journal.
  • O’Quinn, E.J. (In progress). Old Friends: An Annotated Bibliography and History of Vintage Girls’ and Boys’ Books, Comics, Authors, and Illustrators. A Compendium for Special Collections, ASU. 
  • O’Quinn, E.J. (In progress). What you see, What you love: Poems for Young Adults in a Word, in a Picture. Book Project. 
  •  O’Quinn, E.J. “Girl Culture and their Literacies.” The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. Blackwell-Wiley Publishers. (Essay).
  •  O’Quinn, E.J. (2019). Public Art Exhibit. Rain Falling on Stained-Glass Window. Cornelius Arts Center. NC.
  •  O’Quinn, E.J. (2018). English Journal. Like Dancing on the Moon in English Journal, Vol. 108. No. 1.
  •  O’Quinn, E.J. (2018). Public Art Exhibit. Windows and Walls in Art and Text. Jones House. Boone, NC.
  •   O’Quinn, E.J. (2018). Public Art Exhibit. Poppy Dreams. Home Grown Exhibit. Arts Center, Davidson, NC.
  •  O’Quinn, E. J. (2017). “Show me Who Your Friends Are.” An essay in Sayings of Mama 'Nem. Ed. Betty Lovelace. 
  •  O’Quinn, E.J., Guest Editor. (2016). Special Issue of Gender Issues on Girls’ Studies. Vol. 33. No. 2. Springer Publications.
  • O’Quinn, E.J. (2015). Public Art Exhibit. Beauty in all Things. Looking Glass Gallery, Boone, NC. 
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2012). (ed.) Girls' Literacy Experiences In and Out of School: Learning and Composing Gendered Identities. Routledge Press.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2012). "Risking Reverence." In Rud & Garrison (eds.). Teaching with Reverence. Palgrave: Macmillian.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2011). "Picturing a Life: Lessons and Landscapes of an Iranian Girlhood" in Signals Journal. Vol. 34. No. 1.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2011). "Teacher, Writer, Revolutionary: A Parallel Journey" in Deborah Stankevich (ed.). Getting it in Writing: The Quest to Become an Outstanding and Effective Teacher of Writing. Information Age Publishing.
  • O'Quinn, E. J. (2010). "Gender & Youth: Images, Stereotypes, and Identity." Radio interview aired on NPR, Indianapolis, IN.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. & Carpenter, H. (2010). "Familiar Aliens: Science Fiction as Social Commentary." In ALAN Review. Vol. 37. No. 3. pgs. 45-50.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2008). "Revisiting Cherry Ames and Ginny Gordon" in Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia. (ed.) Mitchell, Claudia & Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline. Greenwood Press.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2008) "Where the Girls Are: Resource and Research" in ALAN Review: Summer. Vol. 35, #3.
  • O'Quinn, E. J. (2007). "What Girls Read" in Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources. Vol. 28, No. 4. Pgs. 37-41.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. & Garrison, J.W. (2006). "Whitman, Dewey, and a Song for the Occupation of Teaching." In Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Volume 22, No. 1. pgs. 127-135.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. & DeSiato, Alex. (2006). "Welcoming and Educating Students' Emotional Responses to Disturbing Literature." In Women in Literature and Life Assembly. Volume 14. pgs. 10-15.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2006). "Critical Literacy In Democratic Education: Responding to the Sociopolitical Tensions of Schools." In Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy. Volume 49, No 4. pgs. 260-267.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2006). "Teaching Beyond the Text: Examining and Acting on the Moral Aspects of Night." In Rosemary Horowitz (ed.), Elie Wiesel and the Art of Storytelling.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2005). "Writing Beyond Reason." In Arizona English Bulletin. Volume 47, No. 2. Pgs. 34-39.
  • Garrison, J.W. & O'Quinn, E.J. (2005). "Reflections on Whitman, Dewey, and Educational Reform: Recovering Spiritual Democracy for our Materialistic Times." In Journal of Education in Culture. Volume 20, No. 2. pgs. 68-77.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2004). "Vampires, Changelings, and Radical Mutant Teens: What the Demons, Freaks, and Other Abominations of Young Adult Literature can Teach us About Youth." In ALAN Review. Volume 31, No. 3. pgs. 50-56.
  • Duncan, B. & O'Quinn, E. J. (2004). "Allaying the Conspiracy of the Least." In Language Arts Journal of Michigan: The Scholarly Journal of Teachers of English. Volume 20, No. 1. pgs. 84-90.
  • Garrison, J.W. & O'Quinn, E. J. (2004). "The Social Construction of Emotional Meaning Across Gender Differences: The Dangers of Being Dismissed." In The Initiative Anthology: An Electronic Publication about Leadership, Culture, & Schooling. pgs. 1-5.
  • Dickerson, K. & O'Quinn, E.J. (2003). "Making a Space for Girls: Feminism, Journal Writing, and the English Classroom." In Women in Life and Literature Assembly. Volume 12, pgs.10-17.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2003). "Reading and Writing as Cultural Acts of Resistance and Exploration." In Virginia English Bulletin. Volume 53, No.1. pgs. 4-9.
  • O'Quinn, E. J. (2003). "But What About Shakespeare? The Struggle of Young Adult Literature to Survive." In Language Arts Journal of Michigan: The Scholarly Journal of Teachers of English. Volume 19, No.1. pgs. 41-47.
  • O'Quinn, E.J.& Garrison, J.W. (2003). "Creating Loving Relations in the Classroom." In Garrison, J.W. & Liston, D. (ed.), Teaching, Learning, and Loving: Reclaiming Passion in Educational Practice. pgs. 49-64. Routledge Press.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2003). "Creative Practices for Reflective, Active, and Enduring Learning." The English Record. Volume 53, No. 3. pgs.12-21.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2003). "The Power of Time and Place: Changing Images of Young Women in Good Girl Messages: How Young Women Were Misled by their Favorite Books and Declarations of Independence: Empowered Girls in Young Adult Literature, 1990-2001." In Journal of National Women's Studies Association. Volume 15, No.1. pgs. 169-172.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2001). "Between Voice and Voicelessness: Transacting Silence in Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak." ALAN Review. Volume 29, No. 1. pgs. 54-8.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (2001). "Emerging Writers as Ethnographic Adventurers: An Alternative Research Paradigm for Composition Students." Virginia English Bulletin. Volume 51, No. 2. pgs. 55-60.
  • Garrison, J.W.& O'Quinn, E.J. (2001). "Adult Education as Personal, Poetic, and Philosophical Reflection on Occupation: Democracy, Dewey, and Whitman." In Lotte Rahbek Schou (ed.), Lifelong Learning and Pedagogy. pgs. 54-67. Copenhagen: Gads-forlag. In Danish.
  • O'Quinn, E.J. (1999). "Developmental Junctions of Text and Experience in Young Adult Literature." ALAN Review. Volume 27, No.1. pgs. 60-63.
Title: Professor
Department: Department of English

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6894

Office address
Sanford Hall 560