Etta Madden has been an author, teacher and group leader for more than 25 years. Literature, women’s roles, and intentional or “utopian” communities–many of them spiritual–especially interest her. Whether concerned with people of the past or present, such as New England Puritans or polygamous Latter Day Saints, Damanhur in Italy’s Piedmont or East Wind in Missouri’s Ozarks, her conversations and writings on these topics push us to think about and learn from our own social situations.
Etta Madden as Author
As an author, Etta has written and edited numerous books, articles and reviews. Her most recent publications discuss food, early American literature, and Philadelphia news correspondent in Rome, Anne Hampton Brewster. Brewster is among the women in my current book project on 19th-century American women in Italy.
Etta Madden as Teacher
With a doctorate, Etta has been a professor at Missouri State University since 1995. Most often she teaches courses on American literature, utopian visions and communities, and women writers. Before that, she taught at the University of New Hampshire and as a student assistant at the University of Virginia. She also enjoys opportunities to engage audiences outside the university classroom. Whether analyzing the letters of nineteenth-century travelers to Italy or contemporary cookbooks, addressing audiences large or small, Etta keeps insights accessible and relevant to those apart from campus life.
Etta Madden as Group leader
Etta enjoys leading public sessions that are often workshops and discussions. In addition to workshops, she has led custom-designed and thematic educational trips for adults. The last two trips, to Italy, focused on pilgrimage and changes in religious practices. These inspirational journeys launched from her teaching of university students in London in 2004 and living in Italy as a William J. Fulbright scholar in 2009.