Catching up with...Jennifer Mitchell '04

Publication Date

Jennifer Mitchell ’04 is an assistant professor of English who writes about gender, sexuality and modern and contemporary literature. After graduate school in St. Louis and New York City and a visiting professorship in northern Utah, she joined the Union faculty in 2015. Her most clutch trivia skill is knowing far too much about music from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. Jen collects mismatched dishes, glass bottles and good people. She can be found compulsively watching British police procedurals and she cannot wait until shopping is a real thing again. Jen lives with her partner, James, in Schenectady. They have two charming and dumb cats (Matzah and Toro) and one not-so-charming-but-still-very-lovable feline (Sophie).

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: Twitter, though I wish it were virtually anything else.

Jennifer Mitchell '04

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES: This is an absolutely unreasonable question to ask an English professor. But here goes: Virginia Woolf’s "A Room of One’s Own"; Wilkie Collins’s "The Woman in White"; Helen Oyeyemi’s "White is for Witching"; Kazuo Ishiguro’s "Never Let Me Go"; Octavia Butler’s "Parable of the Sower."

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: Find the people who make your life better and ignore the rest.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: My office. It’s cozy.

GO-TO BREAKFAST: Black coffee and, while it used to be toast with jam, now it’s a cheddar jalapeño bagel from Revolution Bagels.


FAVORITE PODCAST: “How Did This Get Made?,” “The Dead Authors Podcast,” “Cults.” Recently, I’ve been listening to “Bundyville” and it’s great (and also terrifying).

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: I so wish I could sing, but not being able to doesn’t stop me at all. Oh, and I wish I could weld!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PANDEMIC DIVERSION/ACCOMPLISHMENT: Accomplishment: getting my book, "Ordinary Masochisms", edited, indexed and released into the world. Diversion: really elaborate recipes.

ANOTHER SUBJECT YOU WISH YOU COULD TEACH: Religious studies. I am super interested in the Bible and theological narratives.

MOST CREATIVE EXCUSE YOU HEARD FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT: No one’s used it yet, but I would definitely be swayed by, “Time is a construct, so is this really late?”