Denise MacNeil

School of Business

Denise MacNeil


Hornby Hall
P: 909.748.8775

Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Analysis

  • Cultural Contexts for Business

  • Cultural Contexts for Management

  • 19th Century American Literature

  • Early American Popular Literature

  • American Frontier Hero in Literature and Film

Research and Professional Background Highlights

Denise MacNeil, Ph.D., M.F.A., is an Associate Professor at the University of Redlands. In her teaching, she specializes in using literature to illumine and examine managerial and business issues and themes. She is the author of The Emergence of the American Frontier Hero, 1682 – 1826: Gender, Action and Emotion (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009).

Dr. MacNeil's training and research are in the field of American literature, with a specialty in the period prior to 1914. Within this context, she examines mechanisms at work that realize literary influence on popular, lived culture, with particular emphasis on multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and social class issues and situations. Dr. MacNeil has more than ten years of research, writing and presentation experience in this field. She publishes and presents in both national and international, juried venues.

Courses taught at Redlands

  • American Character through Literature

  • Critical Analysis

  • Critical Perspectives on Management

  • Cultural Contexts for Business

  • Cultural Contexts for Management

Degrees Held

  • B. A., Liberal Arts with Emphasis in Literature and Writing, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, 1982

  • M.A., Comparative Literature, Chapman University, Orange, CA, 1991

  • M.F.A., Creative Writing, Chapman University, Orange, CA, 1992

  • Ph.D., American Literature, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, 2000

Previous Teaching Experience

Teaching Experience-Adjunct

  • California State University, San Marcos, Department of Women's Studies, Fall 2003

  • Chapman University, Department of English, 1997-1998

  • University of Redlands, Department of Liberal Studies, 1997-1998

  • Claremont Graduate University, Writing Program, Drucker School of Management, 1997-1998

  • Scripps College, Department of Writing, 1995-1998

  • Golden West College, Department of English, 1990-1992

  • Santa Ana College, Department of Communications, 1983-1987

Previous Relevant Work Experience

Related Field Experience

  • Cultural Anthropology, assistant editor, 1994-1997

  • American Ethnologist, staff associate editor, 1993-1994

  • Women's Studies, An Interdisciplinary Journal, assistant editor, 1993-1994

  • California Quarterly, The Journal of the California Poetry Society, technical editor, 1991

  • Hickman, Leland. Lee Senior Falls to the Floor. (Poetry collection.) Martin Nakell, ed. Orange, CA: Jahbone Press, technical editor, 1991

  • English: Writing and Skills. English text series for grades 7 to 12. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, copy editor, 1986

  • Writer and Editor (academic, research and development, high-tech), Orange and Claremont, CA, 1982-1993

Major Awards and Grants received

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Business, University of Redlands, 2009

  • Center for Business, Ethics and Society Faculty Seed Grant, University of Redlands, 2004-2005

  • Graduate Research Assistant Award, University of Redlands School of Business, 2004-2005

  • Outstanding Faculty Award, University of Redlands, 2001 (nominee)

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Redlands, 1998-99

  • Dissertation Fellowship, Claremont Graduate University, 1996-97

  • Humanities Fellow, Claremont Graduate University, 1994-95

Significant Publications and Presentations


The Emergence of the American Frontier Hero, 1682-1826. Gender, Action and Emotion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
This book identifies America's first prose bestseller, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682) as the genesis of the American frontier hero. The study places the initial literary emergence of this heroic stereotype in Rowlandson's text. Identifying the Adamic hero's maternity in Rowlandson's text, this analysis provides a prehistory of that iconic hero that pushes back the genesis of the frontier hero from the early nineteenth-century to the mid-seventeenth century, while expanding the gender designation of that hero to encompass both masculine and feminine protagonists.


"Developing an Early American Representation of the Heroic in The Female American; or, The Adventures of Unca Eliza Winkfield." Success and Failure: Proceedings of the 29th APEAA Conference. Aviero, Portugal: Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Anglo-Americanos, 2009.

"Mary Rowlandson and the Foundational Mythology of the American Frontier Hero." Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 34: 625-253 (December 2005).

Conference Presentations

"The Salton Sea Narratives: Shaping Collective Memory and Popular "History" in The Winning of Barbara Worth by Harold Bell Wright."

Presented at the 30th Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Anglo-Americanos Conference 19-21 February 2009, Porto, Portugal

Presented at the American Literature Association Conference, 22 May 2009, Boston, Massachusetts.

"Mothering the American Frontier Hero." American Origins Seminar. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, September 13, 2008.

"Developing an Early American Representation of the Heroic in The Female American; or, The Adventures of Unca Eliza Winkfield." Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Anglo-Americanos, Aveiro, Portugal, April 19, 2008.

"Emotion, Strength, and Action in The Female American by Unca Eliza Winkfield." Invited presentation. American Literature Association Symposium on American Fiction, San Diego, CA, September 29, 2006.

"Edgar Huntly and the Gendered, Racialized Heroics of Mary Rowlandson's The Captivity and the Restauration." Society of Early Americanists Fourth Biennial Meeting, Alexandria, VA, April 1, 2005.

"Edgar Huntley's Reconfigurations of Mary Rowlandson's Frontier Hero." American Literature Association Symposium on American Fiction, San Diego, CA October 9, 2004.

Early Native American Commentaries on Metacom's War. American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, CA May 2004.

"Feminine Masculinity: Colonial Influence in the films Ethan Edwards and The Bird Cage. Invited lecture. Women's History Month Celebration, California State University, San Marcos, CA, March 2003.