Harper, Lila Marz 1955-

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HARPER, Lila Marz 1955-


Born May 27, 1955, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Harold George (a high school biology teacher and geologist) and Sally (a botanist and self-employed nursery operator; maiden name, Spiegel) Marz; married James Dale Harper (a professor of mathematics), December 23, 1975; children: Artemus Samuel, Sara Katherine. Ethnicity: "Russian Jew/German." Education: Humboldt State University, B.A., 1976, graduate study, 1976-78; attended University of Oregon, 1979-84; St. Cloud State University, M.A., 1987; University of Oregon, Ph.D., 1996.


Office—Department of English, Central Washington University, 400 East Eighth Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98926-7558; fax: 509-963-1561. E-mail—[email protected].


Central Washington University, Ellensburg, instructor in English, 1989—. Field bibliographer for Modern Language Association of America and Modern Humanities Research Association, 1996—.


North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Modern Language Association of America, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, United Faculty of Central American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association (vice president).


Citation for "outstanding academic book," Choice, 2001, for Solitary Travelers: Nineteenth-Century Women's Travel Narratives and the Scientific Vocation.


Solitary Travelers: Nineteenth-Century Women's Travel Narratives and the Scientific Vocation, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Madison, NJ), 2001.

(Editor) Edwin Abbott, Flatland (critical edition), Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 2003.

Author of instructor's manuals. Contributor to reference books. Contributor to periodicals, including Extrapolation, George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies, and Journeys: International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing.


Research on the travel accounts of Mary Wollstonecraft and Gilbert Imlay; research on Darwin.


Lila Marz Harper told CA: "My family's concern for the natural world, my working-class immigrant background, and the experiences of the women in my family drive me and commit me to scholarship. The difficulties women faced professionally in the past link with my experiences and what I see today.

"Because of my parents' intellectual drives and my ethnic, non-Christian background, I have always felt like an outsider trying to understand why we organize information and see the world the way we do. Studying nineteenth-century and eighteenth-century literature and science helps me make sense of the modern or post-modern culture. It is like there are puzzles around me that I try to figure out, wondering how did professions form the way they did and what have women done in the past to keep intellectually alive.

"I write when I can, often setting aside projects for months during the school year while I teach and balancing projects with family and union commitments, somehow holding and mulling over ideas until I get the chance to write them down. I think working on adjunct contracts and constantly 'multi-tasking' gives me some empathy for women writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I understand the barriers—both physical and emotional—and respect the achievements of those who did manage to write despite them."

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Harper, Lila Marz 1955-

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