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Mary C. Miles

Mary C. Miles
210 Burrowes Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 880-4592

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, MA, Cornell University, 2008
  2. MA, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997
  3. BA, The Pennsylvania State University (Schreyer Scholar), 1994


After spending time as a child in Rhode Island and Georgia before returning to her hometown of State College, PA, Mary Miles completed a BA and MA in history and religious studies at Penn State, then a PhD in American intellectual history at Cornell University.  She is a Senior Lecturer at Penn State in the English and History Departments where she teaches award winning courses ranging from the history of psychiatry, to religion and culture, positive thinking and wellness psychology, and honors writing.  Dr. Miles leads a study abroad program in London on insanity and imagination and has published articles in related fields.  She adores her family, niece, nephew, cats, and working with animal rescues.

Recent Publications:

“Democracy of the Mind: Rabbi Joshua Liebman’s Interpretations of Judaism, Psychoanalysis, and American Politics”.  The Journal of Psychohistory. February 2017.

“Therapeutic Heresy or Emotional Salvation? American Catholic Interpretations of Psychoanalysis During and After World War II.” Journal of Religion and Society 18 (2016).

“Proselytizing for Profit and Consuming Self-Help: The Fowlers and Wells Phrenological and Water Cure Publications.” New York History Review (2016 Annual).

“The Experiences of American Families in Religious Cults.” The Encyclopedia of the American Family. (ABC-CLIO, New York: 2003).

“Sororities and American Girlhood.” Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia, Miriam Formunek-Brunnell, ed. (ABC-CLIO, New York: February 2001).

Awards and Service:

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Penn State National Society of Leadership and Success, 2016
  • Chair, Liberal Arts Caucus, Faculty Senate, Penn State University, 2016-present
  • Chair, Student Life Committee, 2014-15, 2016.
  • University Committee to Assess General Education, 2016-present
  • Liberal Arts College Committee on Lecturer Policies, 2013-present
  • Vice Chair, University Planning Committee, Penn State University, 2013
  • Distinguished membership, Penn State National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2014
  • Nancy Lowe Award for Excellence in Teaching, Penn State Rhetoric and Composition, 2012
  • Penn State Golden Key, Honorary Faculty Membership Selection, 2011
  • Faculty Homecoming Court, Penn State, 2008
  • Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching, Cornell University, 2001
  • National Merit Finalist, 1989

Recent Undergraduate Courses:

History 103: The History of Madness, Mental Illness, and Psychiatry
History 116: The History of Family and Sex Roles
English 137-138: Rhetoric and Civic Life Honors First Year Sequence in Speech and Writing
English 402: Literature and Society (Study Abroad in London)
Amsty 140: Religion in American Life and Thought

Research Interests:

History of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Mental Health. History of Happiness. American and European Intellectual History. Religious Studies. Transatlantic Studies. Gender Studies. 19th-20th Century.
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