Kalenda C. Eaton

Associate Professor, English

Arcadia University (215) 572-2964 eatonk@arcadia.edu

About Me

RESEARCH: Dr. Eaton’s scholarly expertise includes African American Literature, Africana Cultural Studies, and Women’s Studies. Her particular interests address the intersections between cultural history, literary theory, social activism, and creative expression. In her first book, Womanism, Literature, and the Transformation of the Black Community 1965-1980 (Routledge 2008, reprint 2012) she applied womanist social theory to fiction depicting gendered labor and grassroots activism during the post-Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Eaton’s current projects allow her to cultivate decades-long research and teaching on the Black American West and the politics of freedom in the western hemisphere.

TEACHING: At Arcadia University, Dr. Eaton primarily teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Black Literature and Culture, Literary Theory, Multicultural American Literature, and Research Writing.  She has also developed and taught several field study courses on the connections between art, history, and politics with travel to Belize (2011-2013, and 2016), Jamaica (2014), Ghana (2010 and 2012), and Benin (2018).  

UNIVERSITY & PROFESSIONAL WORK: Dr. Eaton is the current director of the English Graduate Program. Additionally, she has served as a Faculty Senator, and as a member of the: Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Academics Committee, India Initiative Task Force, Promotion and Tenure Committee, and as a faculty representative on the International Programs/College of Global Studies subcommittee of the Board of Trustees from 2012-2016. She was also Director of Global Learning from 2014-2016. With a cohort of faculty at the university, she helped institute the academic minor in Pan-African studies and create Arcadia’s Pan African Studies Collective (PASC). Outside the university, Dr. Eaton is a frequent external reviewer for domestic and international academic journals and grant-funding foundations. She is a member and/or officer on several boards ranging from Editorial and Advisory, to Corporate. She has been a member of a Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) site visit team and is a MSCHE trained evaluator. Also, Dr. Eaton frequently serves as a resource faculty member and mentor with the Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program.

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS: Dr. Eaton earned a Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in English and Spanish at Dillard University, a comprehensive Master’s degree (M.A.) in English with a concentration in 20th century American Literature at The Ohio State University, and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in English with field concentrations in African American literature and global Black women’s protest fiction and theory at The Ohio State University. She is an an alumna of the SSRC/Mellon-Mays Fellowship program and an Associate Fellow with the Center for Great Plains Studies. In 2016, she held the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Society and Culture at Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia). Dr. Eaton holds the Frank and Evelyn Steinbrucker Chair (Humanities) at Arcadia University.

Areas Of Focus

Historical Fiction, Africana Studies, Women's Studies, Literary Theory, American West, Program Administration and Development


Home Country

English; Spanish (reading and comprehension)

Education History

The Ohio State University

Doctor of Philosophy, Major in African American Literature

Minor in American Literature; Africana Studies; Women's Studies

The Ohio State University

Master of Arts, Major in English

Minor in American Literature

Dillard University

Bachelor of Arts, Major in English and Spanish