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Honors College Welcomes Leila Watkins

After earning her M.A. and Ph. D in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan in Anarbor, MI, Dr. Leila Watkins is glad to be back in the south. Her hometown is Charlotte, North Carolina, and she received her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Watkins teaches Honors 251. The class is a great way for students to learn civic responsibility in their professional identity. One group in her class is working on a photojournalism project that focuses on affordable housing in the Bowling Green community. She also advises students in CE/T. Also, she will be teaching a study away course in California in January, as well as the Honors 251 course in Washington D.C. in the summer.

As a graduate student, Dr. Watkins taught honors students. She loves working with students who care and want to learn. Her academic focus is on early modern British poetry from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and how it was used to manage emotions. Dr. Watkins has always loved to read. She feels that reading can allow people to experience cultures and places that they might not otherwise be able to experience.

Currently, Dr. Watkins is working on a project that looks into a time in England’s history when literacy rates were rising and books were becoming more readily available. She argues that during that time, literature allowed readers to work through troubling emotions such as grief and anxiety, whereas religious and philosophical texts encouraged readers to simply move past those feelings. By looking at this time period, new insight can be gained into how literature can be used for community-based solutions for mental illness.

In the future, she would love to teach at Harlaxton. She would also like to get students more involved in archives. Some of the archives she would like to take students to are the British Library in London, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., and the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA.

Dr. Leila Watkins

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