Debbie Lelekis

Associate Professor | School of Arts and Communication

Contact Information
(321) 674-8282
Frederick C. Crawford Bldg, 626

Personal Overview

Dr. Debbie Lelekis received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri and her MA and BA from the University of South Florida. Her scholarly research focuses on themes of race, gender, and class in nineteenth and early twentieth century American fiction. In her book, American Literature, Lynching, and the Spectator in the Crowd: Spectacular Violence, published in 2015, Dr. Lelekis examines literary depictions of the witnessing and reporting of racial violence. She has also published several articles and co-edited The Working Class in American Literature: Essays on Blue Collar Identity (2021). 

She teaches writing and literature classes, and she designed the elective “Science, Technology, and the American Narrative” in order to highlight the cross-currents between disciplines and provide an interdisciplinary humanities course that complements work that students are doing in their science and engineering classes.

Educational Background

Ph.D. University of Missouri
M.A. University of South Florida
B.A. University of South Florida

Professional Experience

Previously, Dr. Lelekis has taught at Jacksonville University, College of Coastal Georgia, University of South Florida, and University of Missouri.  She has taught courses in American literature, British literature, world literature, and a variety of composition courses.

Current Courses

Science, Technology & the American Narrative (Special Topic in Humanities)

Civil War Literature (Special Topic in Literature)

British & American Literature I (British Romantic & Victorian Literature, American Renaissance through Realism)

British & American Literature II (WWI to the present)

Western Civilization II (European Renaissance to the Modern World)

Writing About Literature (Composition)

Selected Publications


American Literature, Lynching, and the Spectator in the Crowd: Spectacular Violence. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015

Journal Articles

"Pretty Maids All in a Row: Power and the Female Child in Burnett’s The Secret
Garden." Anglica: An International Journal of English Studies 23/1 (2014): 63-71.

"Transposing Themes: Teaching Students to Connect to Literature Through Music." The Atrium: A Journal of Academic Voices 5/2 (2014): 1-14.

"Women as Healers: Restoring and Preserving Community in Sarah Orne Jewett’s
The Country of the Pointed Firs." The Quint 5/4 (2013): 49-60.

"Engaging the Civic Self: Teaching American Literature through Spectatorship and the Crowd." Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice 5/1 (2011): 25-34.

Book Reviews

"Striking a Chord: A Review of William Scott’s Troublemakers: Power, Representation, and the Fiction of the Mass Worker." Journal of Modern Literature 36/2 (2013): 175-179.

Review of Jason Puskar’s Accident Society: Fiction, Collectivity, and the
Production of ChanceJournal of American Culture 36/1 (2013): 52-53.


  • Spectatorship and the crowd in American literature
  • Representations of American urbanization and industrialization in the Gilded Age
  • The intersections between American journalism and fiction in the nineteenth century
  • Narratives of community in nineteenth century women’s literature
  • Fictional depictions of Florida in the nineteenth century