Meet our Faculty: Tena L. Helton

Tena L. Helton

English Department ChairHeltonTina

Director of First-Year Writing

Faculty Associate, Provost’s Office

Ph.D. English, Louisiana State University

Phone: (217) 206-7441
Office: UHB 3070

Teaching Interests: American literature and culture, genre theory, film, writing, teaching literature.

Courses: American Gothic, American Souths, Early American Autobiography, Frontier in Early American Literature, Poe, Hitchcock, American literature surveys, Introductory Courses in Literary Genres, Video Games and Gaming, First-Year Writing, Teaching Literature

Dr. Helton earned her Ph.D. in English, specializing in American literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. She also holds a B.A. and M.A. from North Carolina State University in English with a concentration in secondary education. She is a licensed secondary teacher in the state of North Carolina. She has also been a trade journalist writing for agricultural publications. She joined the UIS faculty in 2005. Her primary areas of expertise are: American literature and culture, regionalism, and genre theory.

She has published articles in Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, American Indian Quarterly, Teaching American Literature, the South Atlantic Review, College Language Association Journal, and The Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs. Long-term research projects focus on Gothic children’s literature and on early American autobiographical and ethnographic narratives.

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