Honors Program

Rebecca Nisetich Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director

Office Location

Luther Bonney 250

Faculty Office Hours Fall 2022

Monday-Friday, by appointment


(207) 780-4189

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., English
  • M.A., English
  • B.A., English, Anthropology


Rebecca Nisetich is an Associate Professor and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Southern Maine. She serves as co-chair for the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council to the President, and leads antiracist practice groups for faculty, staff, and USM leadership. She co-leads USM’s Summer Antiracist Institute with Dr. Vaishal Mamgain. She is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Diversity Committee.

Her scholarship is based in Race and Ethnic Studies, and her published work concerns representations of identity in American literature and culture. Her articles have appeared in African American Review, the Faulkner Journal, Studies in American Naturalism, and a collection of essays on Kate Chopin. Her current work explores representations of racial indeterminacy in 20th century American literature, and interpellations of legal discourse in twenty-first century African American literature and popular culture.

In the Honors Program, she teaches HON 101: Race: Reflection & Reality; HON 207: Multiethnic Graphic Novels & Memoirs; and HON 321: Honors Internship.

Research Interests

Twentieth-century American literature, African American literature, Critical Race Theory, law and literature, humor studies, service learning, composition studies. 

Recent Publications

  • Raising the Bar: Satirizing Law in 21st ​Century American Literature and Popular Culture ​ —in process.  
  • “The Architecture of Exclusion: Law and Race in Paul Beatty’s ​The Sellout”—in process. 
  • “Mark Twain and Margaret Garner: Personhood, Property, and Kinship in ​Puddn’ head Wilson”—in process. 
  • “Alternative Systems of Justice in Louise Erdrich’s ​The Round House ”—in process. 
  • “Faulkner’s Future Americans.” Faulkner’s Families, ed. Jay Watson, Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series, University Press of Mississippi (forthcoming). 
  • “When Difference Becomes Dangerous: intersectional identity formation and the protective cover of whiteness in Faulkner’s ​Light in August.” ​The Faulkner Journal ​issue 31.1 (Spring 2019). pp. 43-66. 
  • “Reading Race in Nella Larsen’s ​Passing ​and the Rhinelander Case.” ​African American Review, Volume 46.2  (Summer-Fall 2013). pp. 345-361. Honorable Mention, Weixlmann Prize 2015.  
  • “The Nature of the Beast: Scientific Theories of Race and Sexuality in ​McTeague.” ​Studies in American Naturalism, Volume 4.1 (Summer 2009). pp. 1-21. Winner of the Robert H. Elias Graduate Essay Prize.  
  • “From ‘Shadowy Anguish’ to ‘The Million Lights of the Sun’: Racial Iconography in Kate Chopin’s ​The Awakening.” ​Kate Chopin in the 21st ​Century: New Critical Essays. Heather Ostman (Editor). Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2008. pp. 121-136.