Lauren Cardon

Lauren Cardon

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies


  • PhD, English, Tulane University

Research Areas

  • Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature
  • Composition and Rhetoric


Lauren Cardon is an Associate Professor of English , specializing in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature as well as DEI pedagogy. Professor Cardon earned her PhD and Masters degrees from Tulane University. Her most recent book, Fashioning Character: Style, Performance, and Identity (University of Virginia Press), shows how late twentieth century and contemporary American authors illustrate how American fashion, with its array of possibilities, has offered a vehicle for curating public personas. Characters explore a host of identities as fashion allows them to deepen their relationships with ethnic or cultural identity, to reject the social codes associated with economic privilege, or to forge connections with family and community. These temporary transformations, or performances, show that identity is a process constantly negotiated and questioned, never completely fixed.

Her second book, Fashion and Fiction: Self-Transformation in American Literature, argues that that canonical U.S. authors symbolically use clothing, as well as an evolving fashion industry, to tell their stories of self-fashioning. Authors Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Nella Larsen, among others, map a shift from a class-conscious fashion industry governed by Parisian designers to a transatlantic industry of mass consumption governed by fashion journalism. Cardon’s first book, The “White Other” in American Intermarriage Stories, 1945-2008, was published by Palgrave MacMillan as part of the Signs of Race Series. She has also published articles in MELUSChange, Southern Quarterly, and The Saul Bellow Journal.


Selected Publications



  • “Global Foodways: Digital Humanities and Experiential Learning.” Quick Hits: Teaching with Digital Humanities. Eds. Christopher Young and Emma Wilson. University of Indiana Press, 2020.
  • “From Black Nationalism to the Ethnic Revival: Meridian’s Lynne Rabinowitz.” MELUS
    36.3 (Fall 2011): 159-185.
  • “‘Good Breeding’: Margaret Mitchell’s Multi-Ethnic South,” Southern Quarterly 44.4
    (Summer 2007): 61-82.
  • “Herzog as Survival Literature,” Saul Bellow Journal 20.2 (Fall 2004): 85-108.