Women’s and Gender Studies

Contact Us:
Dr. Brenda Bethman
Acting Director

Sally Mason
Administrative Assistant

(816) 235-5854  
Fax (816) 235-5542

University of Missouri-Kansas City
204 Haag Hall
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Jennifer Phegley

Jennifer Phegley

Department of English
Cockefair Hall 16F

(816) 523-5973
FAX (816) 235-1307


Jennifer Phegley, Associate Professor of English, (B.A. in English and History, Texas State University, 1992; M.A. in English, Ohio State University, 1995; Ph.D. in English, Ohio State University, 1999). Victorian Literature and Culture; Authorship, Reading, and Publishing in the 19th Century.  Author of Educating the Proper Woman Reader: Victorian Literary Magazines and the Cultural Health of the Nation (2004) and co-editor of Reading Women: Literary Figures and Cultural Icons from the Victorian Age to the Present (2005). 

I am currently working on Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England(Praeger Press, 2011). This book uses a wide variety of neglected primary sources as evidence, including conduct books, letter-writing manuals, domestic guidebooks, periodical articles, law treatises, letters, memoirs, and novels to explore amorous relationships among the working, middle, and upper classes from the 1830s to the 1910s. It explores a wide variety of topics, including finding a spouse, planning a wedding, taking a honeymoon trip, and establishing a household. The book examines the transformation of marriage laws throughout the century, attending to the effects these laws had on ordinary people.In addition, the book investigates topics often characterized as forbidden among Victorians themselves, including sexuality, birth control, and prostitution.Finally, the book provides a deeper understanding of how and why marriage norms were defined and maintained by considering the many people who lived outside the boundaries of traditional matrimony.

I am also co-editing two essay collections: Transatlantic Sensations (with John Barton), which redefines sensationalism by mapping its transatlantic production and reception in the nineteenth century, and Teaching Nineteenth-Century Fiction (with Andrew Maunder), which explores new pedagogical approaches to Victorian fictional forms.