Dr. Claire E. Lenviel

Assistant Professor of English


Dr. Claire E. Lenviel teaches 20th- and 21st-century American literature, African American literature, and multicultural American literature at Columbia College. They received their PhD from the University of Kentucky where they specialized in African American literature, youth culture, and masculinities studies. Their scholarship on Carson McCullers, Bret Easton Ellis, and Richard Wright has appeared in ANQ, HARTS & Minds, and Mississippi Quarterly, and their current project, “Race Youth in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Literature and Culture,” argues for the centrality of black youth, both real and literary, to the trajectories of modern and contemporary African American literature and its repudiation of white supremacy. Their commitment to innovative and justice-based research, service, and pedagogy inspires their work with students at Columbia College.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Departmental Award for Instructor of “Best Student Paper in ENG-200s,” University of Kentucky, 2020
  • Ellershaw Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Candidate, University of Kentucky, 2019
  • Summer Dissertation Fellowship, University of Kentucky, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Robert L. Doty English Graduate Support Fund Recipient, University of Kentucky, 2018
  • Semester Dissertation Fellowship, University of Kentucky, 2018 Guy Davenport Fellowship, 2015-2018
  • Departmental Award for Instructor of Best WRD Digital Project, University of Kentucky, 2017


  • “Vulnerable Youth in Richard Wright’s Protest Fiction.” Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 2, 2021, pp. 121-141.
  • “Food and Female Consumption: A Cognitive Metaphor in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.” HARTS & Minds, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-14.
  • “Hopeless Resistance: The Self-Look in Carson McCullers’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” ANQ, vol. 26, no. 2, 2013, pp. 115-120.

What do you love about working at Columbia College?

Columbia College is the quintessence of a small liberal arts college that prioritizes students and their communities above all else. In my short time here, I have learned from faculty, staff, and former students that personal and academic growth are inseparable at Columbia College, and faculty approach their teaching with this mission in mind.