Laura E. Lyons


Office hours:
As Interim Dean of our College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature, I am in the office most days. To make an appointment, please contact my secretary, Irene Shigano at 956-8516 or

My scholarship has developed in several intersecting areas: 1) cultural studies 2) post-colonial literature and theory 3) critical analyses in the field of life writing, especially as related to human rights and corporations 4) work within globalization studies that focuses on the role of the corporation and questions of land and 5) Irish literature and culture. Although my scholarly areas of interest appear to be quite diverse, what brings them together is a commitment to a cultural studies methodology that insists on a grounded approach to materials and that the relationship between theory and practice be understood as dynamic and dialectic. In this regard, my work is guided by an admonition offered by the British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who in discussing the legacy of British cultural studies expresses a discomfort with the pat theoretical fluency he often observes in the American academy. For Hall, theory is not “the will to truth,” but “a set of contested, localized, conjunctural knowledges, which have to be debated in a dialogical way.” In teaching, I am particularly concerned to consider what kinds of theories and practices have developed out of this specific place and how these directly or indirectly challenge cultural theories developed elsewhere. I try to understand cultural phenomenon such as literature, films and commercials, political ephemera and legal testimony as doing the intellectual work of sustaining or trying to change conceptions of the world that we take for granted.


special issue of Biography on “Life Writing and Corporate Personhood,” (co-edited with Purnima Bose), Winter 2014. Cultural Critique and the Global Corporation. (co-edited with Purnima Bose), Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2010.
  •         “Towards a Critical Corporate Studies” (with Purnima Bose), 1-27
  •         “Dole, Hawai‘i, and the Question of Land Under Globalization," 64-101
“’I'd Like My Life Back: Corporate Personhood and the BP Oil Disaster." Biography 34.1 (2011): 96-107. “From the Indigenous to the Indigent: Settler Colonialism and the Homeless in Hawai’i,” Thinking Settler Colonialism: Essays on Settler Colonialism and Its Consequences.  Eds. Fiona Bateman and Lionel Pilkington, London: Palgrave, 2011. 140-152 "From Grief to Grievance: Ethics and Politics in the Testimony of Anti-War Mothers,'" (with Cynthia Franklin). Life Writing 5, ii (2008) and reprinted in Trauma Texts (London and New York: Routledge, 2009).

Areas of Interest

post-colonial literatures and theory, cultural studies, life writing,  corporations, Irish literature and culture


Board of Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1997


BA, Moorhead State University MA, PhD, University of Texas, Austin