Rainwater, Catherine 1953- (Mary Catherine Rainwater)

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Rainwater, Catherine 1953- (Mary Catherine Rainwater)


Born May 31, 1953, in Corpus Christi, TX; daughter of Louis Ellis and Doris (an artist) Rainwater. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Texas at Austin, B.A. (with honors), 1974, Ph.D., 1982; University of California, Irvine, M.A., 1976. Hobbies and other interests: Music, painting, and animals.


Home—Austin, TX. Office—School of Humanities, St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 78704.


St. Edward's University, Austin, TX, adjunct professor, 1985-87, assistant professor, 1987-93, associate professor, 1993-2000, professor of English, 2000—.


(Editor, with William J. Scheick) Three Contemporary Women Novelists: Hazzard, Ozick, and Redmon, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1983.

(Editor, with William J. Scheick, and contributor) Contemporary American Women Writers: Narrative Strategies, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1985.

Dreams of Fiery Stars: The Transformations of Native American Fiction, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.

(Editor, with Mary S. Pollock) Figuring Animals: Essays on Animal Images in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Popular Culture, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to Dictionary of Literary Biography and Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Contributor of articles and reviews to numerous literature journals, including American Literature and Modern Fiction Studies. Editor, Ellen Glasgow Newsletter, 1993-2007.


"As a teacher," Catherine Rainwater once told CA, "I am most concerned with showing students how literature and the other arts can become a vital part of their individual lives, and not remain just some branch of specialized knowledge unrelated, say, to their responsibility to evaluate the popular culture and media influences to which they are subjected daily. Ideally, I suppose I would like my students to make the development of their minds, not the mere acquisition of marketable skills, the subject of their primary attention. I try to make students aware of how their knowledge and lack of knowledge shape their present and future lives.

"All of my writing, I think, reveals my fascination with writers' awareness of the literary traditions within which they are working, whether they are reacting against such tradition or acknowledging its inescapable influence. Native American writers, in particular, are especially innovative in their use and transformation of such traditions."

Rainwater later added: "I am motivated to write because in the process there is intellectual growth and discovery and because I love the beauty and order of language. I enjoy academic writing because it is challenging and rewarding. I enjoy creative nonfiction because it requires honest confrontation with self. Writing makes me and the world visible to me."