About Us


Cynthia  Patterson

Cynthia Patterson

Cynthia Patterson
Associate Professor


Office: CPR 301-G
Phone: 813/974-9501



Cynthia Patterson is an Associate Professor of English. She earned a B.A. in English (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Honors) from Miami University in 1979, an M.A. in English from Tulane University in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from George Mason University in 2005. She taught previously at both Tulane and George Mason. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Patterson spent 20+ years in the corporate world, first as a journalist, then holding management positions in the fitness and medical fields, and operating a small business (in fitness education and consulting). She teaches the Senior Portfolio course, as well as courses in professional/technical writing, American literature, and cultural studies, in multiple formats, including face-to-face, hybrid, and online (synchronous and asynchronous).

Her book Art for the Middle Classes: America’s Illustrated Magazines of the 1840s (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010) received financial support from several prestigious research fellowships, including the Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship in American Visual Culture from the American Antiquarian Society, the Smithsonian Institutions, Winterthur Library, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

More recent projects examine the contributions of women’s sewing and reading groups to late 19th and early 20th century labor, religion, and social reform movements. Her newest book project examines the contributions of women writers to the A.M.E. Church Review, the quarterly publication of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. This project received a Mellon Scholars Fellowship in African American History from The Library Company of Philadelphia, where Dr. Patterson is scheduled to be in residence for one month during summer 2022. Recent article and book chapter publications include:

  • "Notes of Travel" in the A.M.E. Church Review, 1903-1912: Precursor to the Green-Book, Feminized Sociology," Journal of Florida Studies 1:9 52-77. (Winter 2021)

  • The Florida Trail in Black (not White), 1903-1912, Journal of Florida Studies 1:9 (2021). http://www.journaloffloridastudies.org/

  • "Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Living in Periodicals," American Periodicals 30:2 (Fall 2020), 126-48.

  • "Daring Domesticity and Dazzling Danger: Florida's Leisure Literature for Women and Youths, 1890-1920, Journal of Florida Studies 1:8 (December 2019), 1-18. http://www.journaloffloridastudies.org/ 

  • "Illustrated Periodicals," The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Volume 5: US Popular Print Culture to 1860, edited by Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 327-44.

  • “Catching the Spirit: The Melrose Ladies Literary and Debating Society 1890-1899,” the Florida Historical Quarterly 96:2 (Fall 2017), 174-200.

  • “’Hermaphroditish Disturbers of the Peace’: Rufus Griswold, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and Nineteenth-Century Discourses of Ambiguous Sex,” Women’s Studies 45:6 (August 2016), 513-533.

  • “The Caroline Howard Gilman We Don’t Know: Recuperating Gilman’s Work for the Charleston Unitarian Sewing Society,” The Southern Quarterly 52: 2 (Winter 2015), 150-171.

  • “Magazines as Historical Study Subjects: Reflecting the Sociocultural Reality,” in The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research: The Future of the Magazine Form, edited by David Abrahamson and Marcia R. Prior-Miller (New York: Routledge, 2015)

PhD Students Mentored

  • Heather Fox – Dissertation Director (Defended October 2017)
    Dissertation: “Arranging Stories: The Implications of Narrative Decision in Short Story Collections by Southern Women Writers, 1894-1944”

  • Melanie Griffin – Dissertation Committee Member (Defended October 2017)
    Dissertation: “Once Upon A Genre: Distant Reading, the Newberry Medal, and the Affordances of Interdisciplinary Paradigms for Understanding Children’s Literature”

  • Haili Alcorn – Dissertation Committee Member (Defended October 2018)
    Dissertation: “Beauty and the Beasts: Making Places with Literary Animals of Florida”

  • Tiffany Wilgar – Dissertation Committee Member (Defended October 2018)
    Dissertation: “The Spectacle of the Bomb: Rhetorical Analysis of Risk of The Nevada Test Site in Technical Communication, Popular Press, and Pop Culture”

  • Anne Wetmore – Dissertation Director
    Dissertation: “Conflicting Nature: Construction of the Florida Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America”

Dr. Patterson works primarily with graduate students interested in conducting archival research, periodicals research, and those interested in securing external funding for their projects.

Recent Publications

• “’Notes of Travel’ in the A.M.E. Church Review, 1903-1912: Precursor to the Green-Book, Feminized Sociology,” Journal of African American History 106:1 (Winter 2021), 52-77. • “The Florida Trail in Black (not White), 1903-1912, Journal of Florida Studies 1:9 (2021). http://www.journaloffloridastudies.org/