Dr. Jennifer Ballengee, PhD

Professor and Chair - Languages, Literatures & Cultures


Contact Info

LA 4210 D


PhD, Comparative Literature, Emory University
MA, Comparative Literature, University of Georgia
BA, English, Emory University

Areas of Expertise

Literary Theory
Ancient Greek
Cultural Studies


Jennifer Ballengee is the chair of the Languages, Literatures, and Culture Department at Towson University and the author of The Wound and the Witness: The Rhetoric of Torture (SUNY 2009). Her publications address questions of the body, politics, rhetoric, and representation. She is currently finishing a monograph on ruins, tragedy, and national ideology. She teaches courses in literary theory, mythology, rhetoric, Ancient Greek, and cultural studies.



The Wound and the Witness: The Rhetoric of Torture.  SUNY Press, 2009.

Trauma and Literature in an Age of Globalization (Routledge 2021).


"Death, Catastrophe, and the Significance of Tragedy," NANO:  New American Notes Online, Issue 2, May 2014.

“Torture, Modern Experience, and Beauty in Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Modern Language Studies, Fall 2008.

“Mourning the Public Body in Sophocles’ Antigone,” Colloquy, Summer 2006.

“Below the Belt:  Looking into the Matter of Adventure-time,” Ancient Narrative, Spring 2005.

“The Wound that Speaks:  the Figure of Suffering in Prudentius’ Peristephanon Liber,” Crossings: A Counter-disciplinary Journal, Winter 2004.

“The Figure of the Invisible,” Literary Imagination 3.3, Fall 2001.

“An Interview with Geoffrey Hartman,” Yale Journal of Criticism 14.1, Spring 2001.

“Ahmed-Zahra:  Resisting the Split, Exploring the Wound,” Littérature et Cruauté:  Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Graduate Conference in French, Francophone and Comparative Literature. Vincent Desroches, ed.  Columbia University, 1996.


“The Figure of the Invisible,” Poetry Criticism.  Gale Publications, 2013.

Reviews, etc.:

“The Rhetoric of Torture, Expanded,” Faculty Voice. (30.2, Dec. 2014).

Review of Literature, Rhetoric and Values: Selected Proceedings of a Conference held at the University of Waterloo, 3-5 June 2011, in Present Tense (4.1, Fall 2014)

“State faculty treated unfairly:  Decreased support for public university professors hurts all Marylanders,” Baltimore Sun, Nov. 4, 2010.

Review of Mediterranean Crossings: The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, in Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 27 Issue 2, 229 (Summer 2010)

Review of Baltimore Alley Houses:  Homes for Working People Since the 1780s, in Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, Volume 92, Issue 2 (June 2010)

Review of Steal this University, in MLS (Modern Language Studies), Fall 2005.

“Cost-cutting imperils quality of colleges,” Baltimore Sun, Oct. 23, 2004.


Service in the Discipline:

Editorial Board, Proto:  An Undergraduate Humanities Journal (Stephenson University, Baltimore).

University Service:

Faculty Advisor, TigerTHON (SGA-sponsored student organization), 2013-present.

Provost’s Ad Hoc Workload Committee, 2014-2015.

President, Towson University AAUP, 2008-2011.

Presidential Recruitment Advisory Committee, 2011.

Provost Recruitment Advisory Committee, 2009.

Resource Planning Advisory Committee, 2008-2011.

Academic Senate, 2003-2011.

Vice-President, Towson University AAUP, 2007-2008.

Assistant and Associate Provost Recruitment Advisory committee, 2007.

Treasurer, Towson University AAUP, 2004-2007.

Secretary, Academic Senate, 2005-2007.

Vice-Chair, Academic Senate, 2004-2005.

College of Liberal Arts Representative, Academic Senate, 2003-2011 and 2015-present.

General Education Curriculum Revision Committee, 2007.

Chair, AAUP Junior Faculty sub-committee, 2004-2005.

Classical Studies Program Advisory Committee, Towson University, 2001-present.

Towson University Leadership Institute, 2004-2005.

Moderator, Honors College Presidential Debate series, Fall 2004.

Freshman Learning Communities Faculty, Towson University, Fall 2002.

College Service:

CLA PTRM Committee, 2013-present.

Departmental Service:

Assistant Chair, August 30 2011-June 30, 2014.

Member, Steering Committee, 2013-2014.

Coordinator, English Department Hiring Search Committees, 2010-2014.

Standards Chair, English Department PTRM Committee

Chair, English Department Assistant Professors Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2009-2011.

Chair, English Department Hiring Search Committee, 2005-2010.

English Department Hiring Search Committee, 2003-2014.

Interdisciplinary Service:

Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program, 2010-August 2013.

Associated Faculty, Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program, 2001-present.

Director, Cultural Studies Program, 2007-2009.

Co-Director, Cultural Studies Program, 2005-2007.

Advisory Board, Cultural Studies Program, 2005-present.

Associated Faculty, Cultural Studies Program, 2001-present.

Chair, Cultural Studies Curriculum Revision Committee, 2007.