Kimberly Sasser

Assistant Professor of English
On Faculty since 2013

Office: BLA 311
Phone: (630)752-5784
Fax: (630)752-5555


Ph.D., English Literature, University of Edinburgh, 2011
Dissertation: Magically Strategized Belonging: Magical Realism as Cosmopolitan Mapping in Ben Okri, Cristina García, and Salman Rushdie

M.A., English, University of Texas at Arlington, 2006
Thesis title: “The Magical Sublime: A New-Old Lens on Magical Realism”

B.A., English, Summa Cum Laude, Lamar University, 2003
Minor: Spanish

North Lake College
Study abroad in Rome, Italy, 1999

About Kimberly Sasser

In general, my work tends to focus on contemporary literary fiction written by/about people whose lives cross borders of nation-state, culture, language, race, and other ostensibly circumscribed categories. I have studied these topics through the angles of form (magical realism, the [neo]baroque, and other formal migrations); ethically-driven discourses (cosmopolitanism, postcolonial theory, and humanism); methodology (comparative and transnational); and thematics (belonging, solidarity, and self/other).

I am a sucker for a challenge. I feel most alive when I am engaged in an intellectual problem; when I am inhabiting my many family roles as mommy, wife, sister, and daughter; when I am pursuing/responding to God; and when I am pushing my body to the limits in a workout. On the other end of the spectrum, I relish respite from work. I’ll enjoy an ice cream or a latte anytime, anywhere.

Postdoctoral Work

The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship

The University of Edinburgh, Spring and Summer 2013

The Institute for World Literature

Peking University in Beijing, China, Summer 2011

Director David Damrosch


Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh, UK, June 2013

“Magical Realism, Corporeal Take-Overs, and Uncanny Subjectivity: Belonging in Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl” South Central Modern Language Association, San Antonio, TX, October 2012

“Cosmopolitanism and Literary Theory?: A Case for Interdisciplinarity” Southern Comparative Literature Association, Baton Rouge, LA, October 2010

“Fitzgerald and Carpentier: Embedding the Neobaroque in Double Time Helices” Postcolonial Translocations: GNEL/ASNEL, Münster, Germany, May 2009

“Rushdie’s Universalist Turn in The Enchantress of Florence” Art and Power: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at The University of Leeds, Leeds, England, September 2008

“The Jaguar Smile: Cosmopolitan Solidarity or Appropriation?” American Comparative Literature Association, Puebla, Mexico, April 2007

“On the Verge of Transcendence: The Sublime in Okri’s The Famished Road” South Central Modern Language Association, Dallas, TX, October 2006

“Romanticism and Carpentier: The Marvelous Sublimity of Nature”


“Proliferation: Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl and the Case for Magical Realisms,” Critical Insights: Magical Realism, ed. Ignacio López-Calvo, Salem P, forthcoming.

Magical Realism and Cosmopolitanism: Cartographies of Belonging, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.

Book Review: Christopher Warnes’ Magical Realism and the Postcolonial Novel: Between Faith and Irreverence, Interventions 12.3 (2010): 484-86.

“The Magical Realist Case for ‘Benjamin Button,’” The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review 8.1 (2010):

“Solidarity through Difference: Rushdie’s Anti-Example in The Jaguar Smile,” Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations 13.1 (2009): 61-80.

Teaching and other Professional Experience

Assistant Professor (Spring 2013-)
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, Current courses taught include West African Literature, Modern Global Literature, and Research and Composition

Senior Lecturer (Fall 2012-Spring 2013)
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, Teach courses for English majors and minors, including upper-level world literature (3362), an introduction to major literary texts and movements from 1700 to the present. Material covered includes realism, modernism, postcolonial literature, magical realism, and the literature of globalization, as well as various theoretical problems involved in such a study of world literature such as delimiting the field, translation, and English as a global language.
Serve on Senior Lecturers committee, a group tasked with hiring a new lecturer this year

English Instructor (Spring 2011-Fall 2012) 
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas,  Teach courses in sophomore-level world literature (2309), wherein I have incorporated material on magical realist literature and film, postcolonial literature, and theoretical issues in world literature and global Anglophone literature; Textual Analysis and Interpretation (2350), UTA English Department’s foundational course for English majors; and a senior-level English internship (4390), a course in which students perform writing-related work for local businesses and non-profits, attaining a professional portfolio by the end of the term

Undergraduate Academic Advisor (Fall 2011-Fall 2012)
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, Assist students with understanding degree requirements, submitting petitions, and applying for special student opportunities
Serve as liaison between English majors and minors and English Department, College of Liberal Arts, and wider university departments
Interact with English Department faculty regarding input on curriculum, degree requirements, and policy
Update English Department faculty and staff on university and departmental policies and procedures
Serve on search committee for the hiring of two new advisors

Texas Gifted and Talented Teacher (Fall 2003-Spring 2007)
Life School, Dallas, Create curriculum and lesson plans
Conduct classes for kindergarten through eighth grades
Identify qualifying students through screening process
Lead committee that conducts yearly, school-wide spelling bee

Tutor (Fall 2001-Fall 2003)
The Writing Center, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
Tutor students in writing and grammar
Serve as resident grammar specialist
Conduct class orientations

Professonial Affiliation

  • Modern Language Association

Volunteer Work

The Oaks Christian Fellowship, Fall 2003 – Spring 2013
Journeyman, Inc. (youth arts program), Fall 2005 – Spring 2013
New Life Opportunities and Haven of Love (drug addiction and prostitution intervention
programs), Fall 2010 – Fall 2011
Edinburgh Christian Postgraduate Fellowship, Fall 2009 - Fall 2010

Media Center