Sara Gallagher

Sessional Lecturer

Photo of Sara Gallagher

BA Trent University 
MA Trent University 
PhD University of Waterloo 



I earned my BA and MA in English, with a concentration on American Literature, from Trent University. In 2014, I came to the University of Waterloo for my PhD. For my dissertation project, “Black Frontiers: Race, Region, and Myth in African American Westerns, 1854-1954,” I analyzed a diverse set of stories written and produced by African Americans to show the myriad ways that the producers of these texts participated in the revision of the Western genre. Since 2016 I have worked as a sessional lecturer for UW, teaching a range of courses in English and the Arts First program, including ENGL 109 (Introduction to Academic Writing), ENGL 193 (Communications in the Sciences), ENGL 101B (Introduction to Rhetorical Studies), ENGL 251 (Literary Theory and Criticism) and ARTS 130 (Inquiry and Communication).   

Selected Publications 

“Race, Region, and Midwestern Identity in Era Bell Thompson’s American Daughter and Africa, Land of My Fathers.” Great Plains Quarterly. 41 (1). 59-77.

“Oscar Micheaux and the South Dakota Frontier in Print and Cinema.” South Dakota History. 52 (2). 101-129.  

"Redeemed Through Language: Sites of Rhetorical Education in Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Poems and Prose.” Papers in Literature and Letters. Forthcoming Winter 2023.  

Fellowships and Awards 

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2012, 2016, 2017, 2018)  
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship (2016, 2017, 2018) 
  • SSHRC (Masters, 2012)  

Current Research  

Presently, I’m working on revising my dissertation for publication. Besides this, I am also working on a project that focuses on all-Black towns (or “Freedman's Towns") in the American and Canadian Plains and their significance to the study of the region. This project will chart a culture of rural Blackness to examine how the legacies of these towns are simultaneously intrinsic to and separate from the popularly accepted history of the plains and how this positioning can play a unique, but important, role in the study of these regions. 

Research Areas 

  • African American Literature
  • American Cinema 
  • Westerns 
  • Literary Regionalism 
  • Place Studies