Marlene TrompMarlene A. Tromp (PhD, 1995)

Dr. Marlene Tromp, now a member of the faculty at Denison University, remembers the English Department at UF as the “place where I learned what it was to be a professional in my field.” Originally from Wyoming, Marlene attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and initially planned to apply to medical school. Instead, she decided to apply to graduate school in English. She earned her MA at the University of Wyoming. She recollects that she had many options when it came time to pursue her doctorate, but after much careful thought, she knew that UF was where she wanted to be. She remembers Gainesville as a “place of intellectual inquiry,” and describes UF’s English faculty as a “range of people doing many thought-provoking things, all of whom both taught and published important work.” As Victorian studies was her field of choice, she especially enjoyed working with the Department’s Victorianists. She wrote her dissertation on domestic violence in the nineteenth century, a choice of topic that was influenced in part by earlier work she had done at a shelter for battered women. Women’s issues have remained central to her work throughout her career. In addition to her studies in English at UF, she earned a women’s studies certificate and taught courses in the subject. She also served as President of UF’s English Graduate Organization.

Marlene remembers her professors at UF as mentors and role models as well as teachers. “Watching them,” she says, she learned the “model of professionalism that I carry with me today.” Today, she is the John and Christine Warner Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Denison, where she has been since 1997. The best thing about her current position, she says, is that it allows her to pursue her love for teaching while still being able to invest herself in her research. She is an active scholar, an author, and an award-winning teacher who teaches courses in Victorian literature, gender, critical theory, popular culture, and service learning. She has written and published two books: Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self in Victorian Spiritualism (2006) and The Private Rod: Sexual Violence, Marriage, and the Law in Victorian England (2000). She maintains her connection to Gainesville and comes back from time to time to enjoy the food, the weather, and the magnolia trees on the UF campus.

With Aeron Havnie, Marlene Tromp and the UF English Department’s own Pamela Gilbert edited a volume entitled Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Beyond Sensation, published in 2000. She has just completed work on the forthcoming book, Force of Habit: Life and Death on Titanic. Additionally, she edited and contributed to the 2008 collection of essays entitled, Victorian 'Freaks': The Social Context of Freakery in the Nineteenth Century.