Karen Piper

Karen Piper profile picture office: 313 Tate
phone: 573-884-8582
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Research and teaching areas
twentieth-century Anglophone
literature, black British fiction, and
postcolonial theory

Karen Piper's research focuses on globalization, colonial/neo-colonial discourse, and the rhetoric of "development." With a Master's degree in Environmental Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (University of Oregon, 1996), she has always pursued interdisciplinary projects focusing on resource scarcity and distribution. Her first book, Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race, and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan 2006), looks at the evolution of mapping technology in the British colonies--from triangulation to GIS--as a way to gain distance and control over local populations. Her second book, Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A., examines the environmental justice issues surrounding water pollution and scarcity in Los Angeles. Currently, she is working on a book about World Bank rhetoric regarding water privatization, including in India, South Africa, Bolivia, and Iraq, as well as the mass protests movements emerging around the world against the privatization, or corporate control, of water. She has also published in journals and books including Cultural Critique, the American Indian Quarterly, MELUS, and Postcolonial Literatures: Expanding the Canon. She received the Sierra Nature Writing Award, a National Endowment of the Humanities grant, and a Huntington fellowship.


PhD 1996, University of Oregon

Selected Publications

  • Karen Piper. Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) www.amazon.com
  • Karen Piper. Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race, and Identity (Rutgers University Press, 2001) rutgerspress.rutgers.edu

Courses Taught

  • English 3100: Introduction to Literary Study
  • English 4170/7170: Comparative Approaches to Literature
  • English 4189/7189: Major Women Writers, 1890-Present
  • English 4260/7260: 20th Century British Literature
  • English 4970: Capstone
  • English 4970: Capstone Experience
  • English 8060: Seminar in Criticism and Theory