Dr. Debrah Raschke – Home

Dr. Debrah Raschke

Professor of English

Narrative matters. In these times when so many versions of reality come our way, the ability to decipher narrative matters even more.

Dr. Debrah Raschke, Professor of English, received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her areas of specialization include Anglo-Irish Modernism, Twenty-First-Century Anglophone literature, and Contemporary Literary Theory.  In all of her courses she conjoins pragmatics (tools you can use in the world) and vision (opportunities to see differently).

Her book, Modernism, Metaphysics and Sexuality (Susquehanna University Press), examines how a crisis in knowing at the turn of the twentieth century also affects how we look at gender. Her co-edited book, Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times (Ohio State University Press) addresses how Lessing’s work haunts current cultural concerns.

Much of her recent publications have been on Margaret Atwood who has emerged as a keen observer of contemporary culture. Her work here addresses Atwood’s concern with power, representation, and how the stories we tell affect how we see the world.  Her article on Atwood’s “Death by Landscape,” won the Atwood Society Best Article in 2012.  She has also published on Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Jacques Lacan, Eavan Boland, Penelope Lively, Doris, Lessing, Graham Greene, and Can Xue, as well as on the film Fatal Attraction. She was President of the Doris Lessing Society from 2003-2006.

Course Links:

EN 601: Research in English StudiesLI 222: Mythic Dimensions in Literature
LI 256: Variety of LiteratureLI 261: English Literature II
LI 476: Early-Twentieth Century Literature LI 578: Late British Literature
LI 605: Contemporary Theory / Contemporary Anglophone LiteratureLI 676: Early-Twentieth Century Literature 
UI 341: Victorian Studies


PhD    University of Massachusetts-Amherst, English 1991
MA      Colorado State University, English 1977
BA      Colorado State University, Social Sciences 1974

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Anglophone Literature
  • Anglo-Irish Modernism and its International Connections
  • Modern and Contemporary Critical Literary Theory
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Gender Studies and Gender Theory
  • Nineteenth-Century British Literature
  • World Mythologies

Selected Courses Taught:

  • Early Twentieth-Century British Literature
  • Contemporary Theory / Contemporary Anglo-phone Literature
  • Studies in Late British Literature: Margaret Atwood
  • Research in English Studies
  • English Literature II
  • Variety of Literature
  • Mythic Dimensions in Literature
  • Victorian Literature
  • Studies in Late British Literature: Rethinking Gender and Empire

Selected Awards:

  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, 2018
  • Southeast Missouri State University PRIDE Award, 2017
  • College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award, 2012
  • Margaret Atwood Society’s Best Article Award, 2012


Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times, with Phyllis Perrakis and Sandra Singer, eds. (Columbus: Ohio State University Press), 2010. 

Modernism, Metaphysics, and Sexuality (Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 2006).

“Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy: Postmodernism, Apocalypse, and Rapture,” in Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en Littérature Canadienne 39.2 (Spring 2014): 22-44.

“Can Xue’s ‘Hut on the Mountain’: Ghosts of China’s Cultural Revolution,” in Short Story 21.2 (Fall 2013): 69-78.

“Framed Identity: Finding Lucy in Atwood’s ‘Death by Landscape,’” in Mosaic: A Journal for Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 45.3 (2012): 65-80.

“Introduction,” with Phyllis Perrakis and Sandra Singer, in Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, October 2010): 1-8.

“Knowledge and Sexual Construction in Lessing’s The Memoirs of a Survivor and The Fifth Child,” in Doris Lessing Studies 28.1 (Winter-Spring 2009): 13-17.

“‘And they went to bury her’: Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride,” with Sarah Appleton Aguiar, in Adventures of the Spirit, ed. Phyllis Perrakis (Columbia: Ohio State University Press, 2007): 126-52.

“Eavan Boland’s Outside History and In a Time of Violence: Rescuing Women, the Concrete, and Other Things from the Dung Heap,” Rpt., in Poetry Criticism 58, ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 2005.

“Faulkner and Modernism,” in A Companion to William Faulkner Studies, eds. Charles A. Peekand Robert W. Hamblin(Westport, CT: Greenwood eds. Charles A. Peekand Robert W. Hamblin(Westport, CT: Greenwood

“Re-Envisioning Plato’s Cave: Forster’s A Passage to India,” Rpt., in Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: A Passage to India, ed. Harold Bloom (Chelsea House: Philadelphia, 2004):129-45. 

  “Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child:From Fairy-Tale to Monstrosity,” in Doris Lessing Studies 23.1 (2003): 10-12, 25.

“Boundaries, Vision, and Ethics in Graham Greene’s Ministry of Fear,” in Perceptions of Religious Faith in the Works of Graham Greene, ed. William Thomas Hill (New York: Peter Lang, 2002): 175-96.

“Doris Lessing and the Spirit of Postcolonialism: Zimbabwe to Star Wars,” with Anthony Chennells,in Doris Lessing Studies 21.2 (2001): 1-3. “The ‘Heart of the Kingdom’: Colonial Politics in Lessing’s The Fifth Child,” in Doris Lessing Studies 21.2 (2001): 20-26.

“‘It won’t be fine’ tomorrow: Lessing’s Struggles with Woolf,” in Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds, eds. Jane Goldman and Jessica Berman (New York: Pace University Press, 2001): 79-85.

“Cabalistic Gardens: Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor,” in Spiritual Exploration in the Works of Doris Lessing, ed. Phyllis Perrakis (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999): 43-54.

“To the Lighthouse ‘Through the Looking Glass’: Woolf’s Revisionary Metaphysics,” in Virginia Woolf and her Influences, eds. Laura Davis and Jeanette McVicker (New York: Pace University Press, 1998): 288-93.

“Breaking the Engagement with Philosophy: Re-envisioning Hetero/Homo
Relations in Maurice,” in Queer Forster, eds. Robert Martin and George Piggford (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997): 151-65. 

 “Re-Envisioning Plato’s Cave: Forster’s A Passage to India,” in The Comparatist 21 (1997): 10-24.

  “Rescuing the Concrete and Other Things Physical from the Dung Heap: Eavan Boland’s Outside History and In a Time of Violence,” in Colby Quarterly 32 (1996): 135-42.

 “Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: False Borders and Subtle Subversions,” in Literature Interpretation Theory 6 (1995): 257-68.

 “Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger: Re-envisioning the ‘history of the world,’” in Ariel 2 (1995): 115-32.

 “The Problematic Symbolic: Lacan as Trickster,” in European Studies Journal 7 (1990): 43-56.

 “Fatal Attraction,” in Cineaste Magazine (Spring 1988): 44-45.

“Creating ‘A World Elsewhere’: A Cultural Perspective on the Writing Process,” in ERIC 296-46 (December 1988).

 “The Question of Satire in Report from Iron Mountain,” in Studies in Contemporary Satire 10 (1983): 26-31.

Officer in Professional Organizations
Webmaster for Doris Lessing Society (Allied Organization of MLA), 2003- 2012
President of the Doris Lessing Society, 2003-2006
Vice-President of the Doris Lessing Society, 2000-2002
Co-Director of the First International Doris Lessing Conference, 2002-2004
Secretary / Historian for the Margaret Atwood Society (Allied Organization of MLA), 2002-2004
Executive Officer of the Margaret Atwood Society, 1998-2000
MLA Liaison to the Doris Lessing Society, 2003-2006
MLA Liaison to the Margaret Atwood Society, 1998-2000       

Professional Memberships
Margaret Atwood Society
Doris Lessing Society
Modern Language Association
International Virginia Woolf Society