Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign
M.A., University of Georgia
B.A., Allegheny College
Dr. Okker’s teaching and scholarship focus on nineteenth-century American literature, particularly American periodicals and women’s writing. She is the author of two books and one edited collection: Our Sister Editors: Sarah Josepha Hale and the Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Women Editors, Social Stories: The Magazine Novel in Nineteenth-Century America, and Transnationalism and American Serial Fiction. In 2003 she was awarded a William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Prior to her arrival at New College, in 2021 Dr. Okker spent 31 years at the University of Missouri, both as a faculty member in the Department of English and in a variety of leadership roles. From 2017-2021 she served as Dean of the College of Arts and Science, where she led efforts that improved student retention rates, increased the diversity of faculty and leadership in the College, implemented a college-wide initiative around career education, and successfully completed the college’s largest fundraising campaign.
- Editor, Transnationalism and American Serial Fiction, New York: Routledge, 2011. An edited collection featuring essays on serial fiction published in minority periodicals in the U.S. in ten languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Polish, Norwegian, Yiddish, and Chinese)
- Social Stories: The Magazine Novel in Nineteenth-Century America. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2003.
- Our Sister Editors: Sarah J. Hale and the Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Women Editors. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 1995. Translated into Japanese as The Era of Women Editors by Toshimi Suzuki and published by SeidoSha.
- “Periodicals and the Novel.” The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 5: The American Novel to 1870. Edited by J. Gerald Kennedy and Leland S. Person. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
- “Serialization.” Co-authored with Nancy West. The Encyclopedia of the Novel. Edited by Peter Melville Logan. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
- “1787: Le début des romans-feuilletons aux Etats-Unis.” Trans. Marie-Françoise Cachin. In Au bonheur du feuilleton naissance et mutations d’un genre (Etats-Unis, France, Grande-Bretagne, XVIIIe-XXe siècle). Ed. Marie-Françoise Cachin, Diana Cooper-Richet, Jean-Yves Mollier, and Claire Parfait. Paris, Créaphis, 2007. 41-51.
- “Teaching Illustrations and Periodicals: Three Scholars Share Their Ideas and Materials.” Co-authored with Leigh Dillard and Nancy West. VPR: Victorian Periodicals Review 39.4 (2006): 365-382. Special Issue on “Periodical Pedagogy” edited by Teresa Mangum.
- “Fashion.” American History Through Literature, 1820-1870. Ed. Janet Gabler-Hover and Robert D. Sattelmeyer. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006. 404-409. Okker/5
- “Editors.” American History Through Literature, 1820-1870. Ed. Janet Gabler-Hover and Robert D. Sattelmeyer. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006. 355-361.
- “Godey’s Lady’s Book.” American History Through Literature, 1820-1870. Ed. Janet Gabler-Hover and Robert D. Sattelmeyer. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006. 472-475.
- “Teaching American Periodicals.” American Periodicals 12 (2002): 1-8.
- “Sarah Josepha Hale.” The American Renaissance in New England. Ed. Wesley T. Mott. Volume 243, Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2001. 170-177.
- (with Jeffrey R. Williams) “Reassuring Sounds: Minstrelsy and The Hidden Hand.” ATQ: Nineteenth Century American Literature and Culture 12.2 (1998): 133-144.
- “Gender and Secession in Simms’s Katharine Walton.” Southern Literary Journal 29 (1997): 17-31.
- “Serial Politics in Simms’s Woodcraft.” In Nineteenth-Century American Literature in Periodical Contexts. Ed. Susan Belasco Smith and Kenneth M. Price. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1995. 150-165.
- “Native American Literatures and the Canon: The Case of Zitkala-Sa.” Realism and the Canon. Ed. Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. Newark: University Press of Delaware, 1994. 87-101. Collection selected by Choice as one of the Outstanding Academic Books for 1995.
- “Sarah Josepha Hale, Lydia Sigourney, and the Poetic Tradition in Two Nineteenth Century Women’s Magazines.” American Periodicals 3 (1993): 32-42.
- “Thoreau: An American Taoist Sage.” The Comparatist 11 (1987): 86-95.
- “Establishing a Residential Student Computing Program.” The Journal of College and University Student Housing 19.1 (1989): 12-16.