​Dr. Belinda Wheeler

As an Associate Professor of English at Claflin University, Dr. Belinda Wheeler strives to engage and challenge every student she encounters. Originally from Australia, Dr. Wheeler completed her PhD in English at Southern Illinois University.


Dr. Wheeler's research interests include Australian Aboriginal literature, African American literature, and twentieth-century American literature. Dr. Wheeler’s research interests infuse her teaching and motivate students to see literature in a whole new light. In addition to her own publications, Claflin students have worked with Dr. Wheeler to create their own scholarship. For example, in 2015 Dr. Wheeler’s English 303: Introduction to Gender Studies students met with Australian Aboriginal author Dr. Jeanine Leane and the interview they conducted with her, after reading her award-winning novel Purple Threads, resulted in a publication in one of Australia’s leading feminist journals HECATE. Dr. Wheeler firmly believes that students overall educational experiences are enriched if they engage in the material and work with their instructor to see how literature (regardless of time period, gender, ethnicity, etc.) shapes who we are as individuals and how we interact with others locally and globally.


  • Ph.D. English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2011) Major area: Twentieth-Century American Literature 1st minor area: Multi-Ethnic Literature 2nd minor area: Rhetoric and Composition
  • M.A. English, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (2008)

Research Interests

  • Australian Aboriginal literature
  • African American literature
  • Twentieth-century American literature (particularly Modernism)

Activities and Honors

  • Claflin University – Panther Steps First Year Experience Instructor of the Year – English Composition (2016)
  • Claflin University – Certificate of Faculty Excellence for Excellence in Research in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (2016)
  • Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly Committee Member for the Ethnic Studies Committee.
  • Assistant to the Coach. Claflin’s HONDA Campus All-Star Challenge Team
  • Student Academic Advisor for English Majors
  • Faculty Sponsor: Claflin’s Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society) Alpha Iota Zeta Chapter
  • Faculty Advisor: The Tatler. Claflin’s English Department Newsletter.
  • Conference Committee Member: Claflin’s Annual Conference on Contemporary English and Language Arts Pedagogy in Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions.
  • Paine College – Vulcan Materials Teaching Excellence Award: "The award honors a faculty member who has made a distinctive difference in the areas of teaching, research and service" (2014)
  • Southern Illinois University – Dissertation Research Fellowship (2010-2011)

Recent Publications

Forthcoming publication:
Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Gwendolyn Bennett’s Selected Writings (Available for pre-order)
Penn State UP: http://bit.ly/2DFkBFD
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BqhoVq

Available now:
A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott 
Camden House: http://bit.ly/2tJL2CJ
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sMk1NL

A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature
Camden House: http://bit.ly/2tK0iQ2
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tJCewz

A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature, editor. Rochester, NY: Camden House/ Boydell and Brewer, 2013. (Paperback edition released in 2015)


A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott. Camden House/ Boydell and Brewer. Release date: June 30, 2016.


Redeeming Hemingway and his Women: Periodicals as Sites of Change in the American Literature Classroom.” Teaching Hemingway and Gender. Ed. Verna Kale. Kent State UP, 2016.

“Gwendolyn Bennett: A Leading Voice of the Harlem Renaissance.” The Blackwell Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. Ed. Cherene Sherrard. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. 203-217.

“Gender in Purple Threads: An Interview with Jeanine Leane.” (Co-written with students from my English 303 Introduction to Gender Studies class.)

HECATE. 40.2 (2014): 84-92. [Published in Dec. 2015.]


“An Interview with Jeanine Leane.” Antipodes. 28.1 (June 2014): 173-182.

“Gwendolyn Bennett’s Anniversary Issue of ‘The Ebony Flute.’” MAPS (Modern American Poetry Site). Ed. Cary Nelson. University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. 2013.  http://www.modernamericanpoetry.org/criticism/gwendolyn-bennett%E2%80%99s-anniversary-issue-%E2%80%9C-ebony-flute%E2%80%9D

“Gwendolyn Bennett’s Career: A Brief Snapshot.” MAPS (Modern American Poetry Site). Ed. Cary Nelson. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 2013. http://www.modernamericanpoetry.org/content/belinda-wheeler-%E2%80%9Cgwendolyn-bennett%E2%80%99s-career-brief-snapshot%E2%80%9D

“Gwendolyn Bennett’s ‘The Ebony Flute.’” PMLA. 128.3 (May 2013): 744-755.

“Lola Ridge’s Pivotal Editorial Role at Broom.” PMLA. 127.2 (March 2012): 283-291.

Recent Presentations

2016 “Grant Writing at Claflin.” [Invited Lecture]

Claflin University’s New Faculty Orientation Program.

2016 “Contributors Discuss A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott.”

Roundtable creator and participant. American Association of

Australasian Literary Studies. Seattle, WA.

2016 “Preparing Global Leaders by Enhancing Student Engagement with World

Literature and Culture: A Roundtable.” Roundtable creator and

participant. British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies

Conference. Savannah, GA.

2015 “Australia’s Stolen Generation v. 2.0: Understanding the Political Climate

through Australian Aboriginal Literature.” [Invited Lecture] The

Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies. Georgetown


2015 “Claflin University’s UNCF/Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute:

‘Preparing Global Leaders by Enhancing Student Engagement

with World Literature and Culture.’” UNCF/Mellon Annual

Conference. Atlanta, GA.

2015 “A Future Beyond ‘Sorry’ and 9/11?: The Status of Indigenous Australian

Narratives in 2015.” British Commonwealth and Postcolonial

Studies Conference. Savannah, GA.

2014 “Building Bridges between Cultures: Stories from Diverse Communities in

the College Classroom.” National Council of Teachers of English

(NCTE). Washington, D.C.

2014 “Gwendolyn Bennett.” [Invited Lecture] Maxwell Library, Augusta, GA.

2014 “Talking about A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature.”

Roundtable creator and participant. American Association of

Australasian Literary Studies. Portland, OR.

2014 “Harlem’s Transnational Modernisms: Recovering the Black Archive

Beyond the Nation – Gwendolyn Bennett.” Modern Language

Association (MLA). Chicago, IL.

2014 “Vulnerable Times in the Archive: Forgotten Modernist Literary Magazines

– Broom Beyond Matthew Josephson.” Roundtable creator and

participant. Modern Language Association (MLA). Chicago, IL.

2014 “Gwendolyn Bennett: The Forgotten Jewel from the Harlem Renaissance.”

[Invited Lecture] Claflin Literary and Arts and Film Society (CLAFS).

2013 “Gwendolyn Bennett's Transnational Archive.” South Atlantic Modern

Language Association. Atlanta, GA.

​Dr. Belinda Wheeler
Associate Professor of English
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Grace Thomas Kennedy 216
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