Mary C. Miles, Ph.D. -

Mary Miles Penn State CornellMary C. Miles     
Ph.D., M.A.  History                       Cornell University (2008)
M.A.   History                        Pennsylvania State University (1997)
B.A.    Honors History           Pennsylvania State University (1994)
                                                      University Scholars Program

Mary Miles Penn State CornellMajor Area: 19 and 20 Century Transatlantic Cultural and Intellectual History with a focus on religion, literature, and psychology
Additional Fields: America, Modern Europe, Gender History, History of Science

Dissertation: “Democracy Within: Religion, Politics, and the Americanizaion of Psychoanalysis." 

MA Thesis: "Reading and Religion: American Self-Help and Inspirational Literature, 1945-1960"

I have been honored to receive the Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching -- the most esteemed recognition of teaching achievement conferred by the Arts College at Cornell University in 2001.

In 2016, I received the Penn State National Society of Leadership and Success Excellence in Teaching Award as an exemplar of positive, motivational, and inspirational teaching.
In 2008, Penn State students selected me to serve as one of eight faculty members -- university wide -- on the 2008 Homecoming Faculty Court, an honor premised upon excellence of teaching and contributions to Penn State.

In 2011, The Penn State Chapter of Golden Key elected me as an honorary faculty member based upon distinguished teaching and service.

In 2012, I received the Nancy Lowe Award for Excellence in Teaching from the English and Composition Departments

In 2014, The Penn State Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars selected me as a distinguished member, based upon leadership, scholarship, and service

Penn State SRTE (teaching evaluations) scores are consistently above 6.0 (out of 7)
Study Abroad Leadership: Literary London Program.  Theme: "Insanity and Imagination: Creativity and Psychology in British Literature".  Summer 2015

Course Design and Instruction: (Syllabi available upon request)
  • I designed and instruct “Religion in American Life and Thought” for the PennState World Campus.  This is a web-based course that I have taught since Fall, 2006. (Amsty 140Y)
  • "Rhetoric and Civic Life", a year-long writing and speaking honors experience with digital components, Fall 2012-present. (English 137-138)
  • “Honors Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition: Themes in American Cultural History,” Fall 2003-Spring 2005, Penn State English Department. (English 30)
  •  “Honors Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition: Sentient Beings – Animals and Ethics in Cultural Rhetoric,” Fall 2005 – present, Penn State English Department. (English 30)
  • “Effective Writing: Business Communications,” Fall 2009-present, Penn State English Department (English 202D)
  • “Effective Writing in the Social Sciences,” Fall 2010-present, Penn State English Department (English 202A)
  • “American Literature Since 1865”, Fall 2008, Penn State English Department. (English 232)
  • “The History of Madness, Mental Illness, and Psychiatry,” Summer 2005-present,  Penn State Continuing Education. (History 103)
  • “The History of Family and Sex Roles,” Spring 2008-present, Penn State Continuing Education (History 116)
  • “The History of the United States since 1865,” Summer 2008, Spring 2010, Penn State Continuing Education (History 21)
  • "Positive Thinking: Religion, Psychology and Self-Help in American Culture,"Fall 2000 at Cornell University. (English 100)
  • “Freshman Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition,” 2002-present, Penn State English Department. (English 15)
As part of my degree program in the Cornell History Department I designed two additional courses, which I have not yet taught:
  • “The Transatlantic Fin de Siècle: The Turn of the Twentieth Century in American and European Culture. 
  • “Gender and American Religion: A Yearlong Survey Course”
Assistant Teaching and Co-teaching:
I gained extensive and invaluable experience as a teaching assistant and co-instructor. My role in each of the following courses entailed personally instructing regular discussion sections (typically meeting with my sections once or twice a week), devising assignments, grading, occasional lecturing for large audiences, and conducting review sessions:
Cornell University, Department of History
·         Introduction to American History, to 1870 (fall 1998 with Prof. Mary Beth Norton)
·         American Intellectual and Cultural History in the Nineteenth Century (spring 2001 with Prof. R. Laurence Moore)
·         The Modernization of the American Mind in the Twentieth Century (fall 1999 with Prof. R. Laurence Moore)
·         Introduction to the History of Western Civilization, from 1500 (spring 1999, spring 2000 with Profs. Michael Steinberg and R. Laurence Moore)
·         European Cultural and Intellectual History, from 1870 (summer 1999 with Prof. Michael Steinberg)
·         Recent American History, 1929-1960 (spring 2001 with Prof. Richard Polenberg)
·         Recent American History, from 1960 (summer 2001 with Prof. Maurizio Vadaugna)
·         Seminar on the History of Evolutionary Biology and the Meaning of Life (summer 2000 with Prof. Will Provine)
Penn State University, Department of History:
·         The History of Nazism and Fascism (spring 1993, spring 1996 with Prof. Jackson Spielvogel)
·         American Historical Perspectives (fall 1994 with Prof. Philip Stebbins)
·         Modern European History (fall 1995 with Prof. Dan Silverman)
·         The History of Pennsylvania (spring 1995 with Prof. John Frantz)
·         Introduction to World History -- Africa, Asia, the Middle East (spring 1994 with Prof. Arthur Goldschmidt)
·         Western Civilization since 1600 (summer 1993 with Prof. Jackson Spielvogel)
Training and Professional Service:
  • "Writing 700: Teaching Writing," a semester long graduate seminar on the theory and practice of writing instruction, conducted by the Knight Writing Institute at Cornell University.
  • “English 602: Teaching Freshman Composition,” a yearlong course taught by the Penn State Composition Department.
  • "English 602: Teaching Honors Rhetoric in Civic Life"
  • “English 602: Teaching Effective Writing, Business Communications”
  • “English 602: Teaching Effective Writing in the Social Sciences”
  • I helped to develop and conduct the training program for new teaching assistants in the History Department at Cornell University in 2001.
  • I served as a teaching mentor to undergraduate discussion leaders in the Penn State History Department's internship program.
I have also taught SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT courses for high school and college students for the Princeton Review Test Preparation Company, 1994-1997
·         Teaching evaluations and recommendations available upon request

“Democracy of the Mind: Rabbi Joshua Liebman’s Interpretations of Judaism, Psychoanalysis, and American Politics”.  The Journal of Psychohistory. Forthcoming Spring 2017. 
“Therapeutic Heresy or Emotional Salvation? American Catholic Interpretations of Psychoanalysis During and After World War II.” Journal of Religion and Society 18 (2016).

“Proselytizing for Profit and Consuming Self-Help: The Fowlers and Wells Phrenological and Water Cure Publications.” New York History Review (2016 Annual).

“The Mental Hygiene Movement”, “American Responses to the Holocaust”, “Psychopharmacology,” “Millennialism”, “Rehabilitation Centers”, “The Water Cure”, “Greenpeace”, “Historic Societies”, “Mind Cure”, commissioned by Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 2008.
“The Experiences of American Families in Religious Cults.” The Encyclopedia of the American Family.  (ABC-CLIO, New York: 2003).
“Sororities and American Girlhood.” Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia, Miriam Formunek-Brunnell, ed. (ABC-CLIO, New York: February 2001).
Book Review: Assault on the Left: The FBI and The Sixties Anti-war Movement in Crime, Law and Social Change (Jan. 1999) 

“Expanding Medical Horizons? The National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine.” Knowledge and Society, Shirley Gorenstein, ed. (New York: 1998).
“‘The Man Upstairs’: Changing Visions of God during the Cold War.” The American Journal of Semiotics (Summer 1998).
“From Elf to Pelf: Santa Claus in America.” Semiotics 1996: Proceedings from the Semiotic Society of America Annual Meeting (Peter Lang Press, New York: 1997).
“‘A Change in Consciousness’: the Penn State Students for a Democratic Society and the Neil Buckley Document Collection.” Pennsylvania History (Summer 1996).


Mary Miles Penn State"Learning and Looking Forward".  Keynote Address. Penn State Chapter of Golden Key Induction, April 2011.

"Ascent from the Pit: Psychoanalysis, Religion, and Politics in Post World War II American Narratives of Mental Illness." The Cornell University European History Colloquium at the Society for the Humanities, April, 2007.

"'Light Must Endure Burning": The Holocaust in Viktor Frankl’s Interpretations of Religion and Psychoanalysis." The Cornell University European History Colloquium at the Society for the Humanities, October, 2006

"Therapeutic Heresy?: American Catholic Interpretations of Psychoanalysis during and after World War II." The Cornell University European History Colloquium at the Society for the Humanities, September 2005

“Catholic and Jewish Interpretations of Psychoanalysis after World War II: Bishop Fulton Sheen and Rabbi Joshua Liebman.” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, joint session with The Catholic History Association in Boston, MA, January 2001.
“Proselytizing for Profit: The Fowlers and Wells Self-Help Publications in the Nineteenth Century.”  Society for the History of the Early American Republic in Buffalo, NY, July 2000.
“Rabbi Joshua Liebman and Changing Notions of Judaism and Psychology after the Holocaust.” Semiotic Circle of California Annual Meeting at the University of California at Berkeley, January 2000.
“The American Phrenological Journal: Revolutions in Publishing and Popular Medicine in the 1840s.”  The University of California at Santa Barbara Interdisciplinary Conference on Early Modern Culture sponsored by the History Department, January 1999.
“Looking for History at Penn State: Student Activism in the Sixties and Today.” Keynote Address for the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Initiation Banquet at Penn State, April 1998.
“The Man Upstairs: Changing Visions of God during the Cold War” Semiotic Society of American Annual Meeting in Louisville Kentucky, October 1997.
“President John Adams’ Attitudes towards the Native Americans.” Society for the History of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting at Penn State University, July 1997.
“Expanding Medical Horizons? The National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine,” West Coast History of Science Society Annual Meeting in Claremont California, April, 1997.
“Popular Religion during the Cold War: Inspirational and Religious Bestsellers.”  Penn State Department of History Colloquium, December 1996.
“The Bag Full of Toys: Santa Claus and Consumer Culture.” Semiotic Society of America Annual Meeting in Santa Barbara California, October 1996.
Chair, Liberal Arts Caucus, Faculty Senate, Penn State University, 2016-present
Chair, Student Life Committee, 2014-15, 2016-present
University Committee to Assess General Education, 2016-present
Faculty Senator, Penn State University, 2010-present
Liberal Arts College Committee on Lecturer Policies, 2013-present
English Department Lecturer Review Committee, 2016
Vice Chair, University Planning Committee, Penn State University, 2013-2014
Chair, English Department Lecturer Advisory Committee, 2013-1016
Secretary, Liberal Arts Caucus, Faculty Senate, Penn State University, 2012-2014
English Department Committee on Writing and Rhetoric, 2012-2014
Penn State University MOOCS Strategy Group, 2013-2015
Senate Outreach Committee, Penn State University, 2010-2013
Co-Chair, Graduate History Association, Cornell History Department, 1998-2000
Committee Member, departmental review, Cornell History Department, 1999
Co-Chair, History Graduate Student Association, Penn State, 1995-1997
Intern, Society for the History of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, 1997
Intern, Pennsylvania History Conference, 1996
Student Representative, Graduate Studies Committee, Penn State, 1994-1996
Research Assistant, Departmental Academic Assessment Project, 1996

Excellence in Teaching Award, Penn State National Society of Leadership and Success, 2016
Distinguished membership, Penn State National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2014
Seventh Annual Faculty Recognition Award, Residence Life,  Spring 2013
Recognition Dinner Honorary Invitation, Campus Crusade for Christ, Spring 2013
Nancy Lowe Award for Excellence in Teaching, Penn State Rhetoric and Composition, 2012
Penn State Golden Key, Honorary Faculty Membership Selection, 2011
Faculty Homecoming Court, Penn State, 2008
Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching, Cornell University, 2001
Daughters of the American Revolution Research Fellowship, 2001
Mellon Fellowship, Cornell University, 1997-1998
The Brown Fund Travel Grant, Cornell History Department, 1997, 1999
Conference Travel Grant, Cornell Graduate School, 1998, 1999
Hartzel Award for Graduate Work in Pennsylvania History, 1996
Graduated with Honors from the Pennsylvania State University, 1994
Academic Excellence Award (50% undergraduate tuition fellowship)
Penn State, University Scholars Program, 1989-1993.
Order of Omega, 1993
Golden Key, 1993
Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, 1990
National Merit Finalist, 1989
Meals on Wheels, Volunteer, 2010-2015
PA Pet Patrol, Director, 2010-present
Centre County PAWS Publicity Director, 2008-2010
Centre County PAWS Senior Volunteer, 2002-2010
Career Counselor for disabled clients at the ARC of Centre County, 2002-2006
Vice-President, Tri-Delta Sorority, 1993-1994
Committee Member for the Penn State Dance Marathon Fund-raiser, 1994
Senator for Undergraduate Student Government, 1990-1991
District Aid for State Representative Lynn B. Herman, 1988-1991

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