Humanities Bldg – Room 302L
(760) 744-1150 ext. 2710
B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara
M.A. University of California, San Diego
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
Professor Rolens’ work focuses on crime and detection narratives in twentieth century American literature and film, with a sub-specialization in prison literature. She works especially with the role of identity passing in the crime narratives, exploring how ambiguous identity and social mobility are both criminalized and celebrated in U.S. culture. Her article “Write Like a Man: Chester Himes and the Criminal Text Beyond Bars,” examining censorship of same-sex sexuality in prison literature, appeared in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters; her essay on absurdity and race in prison writing is forthcoming in the collection New Chester Himes Criticism. Her teaching interests include popular culture, gender studies, representations of the U.S. prison system, medical ethics, and passing/cross dressing in fiction and film.