Caroline Woidat

Professor of English Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Programs Coordinator, American Studies and Native American Studies
Welles 228A

Caroline Woidat received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 1994. Along with Dr. Oberg in the History department, Woidat is a co-founder of the Native American Studies program at Geneseo. She often teaches courses examining American women writers, Native American literature, American studies, and textual recovery through archival research. She participated in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges hybrid course sharing in Native American studies. In 2008 she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her research currently centers on the religious writings by 19th-century author and activist Elizabeth Oakes Smith. In 2015 Woidat published The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories (Broadview Press).

Woidat coordinates the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs, the American Studies and Native American Studies programs at Geneseo. She has traveled with Geneseo students to attend lectures and participate in seminars at the Yeats International Summer School in County Sligo, Ireland.

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.A., University of Notre Dame

  • M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Selected Publications

  • "Captivity, Freedom, and the New World Convent: The Spiritual Autobiography of Marie de l'Incarnation Guyart." Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 25.1 (2008): 1-22.

  • "The Truth Is on the Reservation: American Indians and Conspiracy Culture." The Journal of American Culture. 29.4 (December 2006): 454-467.

  • "The 'Indian Detour' in Willa Cather's Southwestern Novels." Twentieth-Century Literature 48.1 (Spring 2002): 22-49.

  • "Puritan Daughters and 'Wild' Indians: Elizabeth Oakes Smith's Narratives of Domestic Captivity." Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 18.1 (Spring 2001): 21-34.

  • "Talking Back to Schoolteacher: Morrison's Confrontation with Hawthorne in Beloved." Modern Fiction Studies 39.3/4 (1993): 527-46. Reprinted in Reading Toni Morrison: Theoretical and Critical Approaches. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. 181-200.

Professional Recognitions and Awards

  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008


  • Native American Literature
  • American Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Women's Studies


  • ENGL 103: Intro to the English Major

    This is an introductory course for first semester and second semester students who have declared as or are interested in being English majors. The course will introduce students to English at Geneseo and to career paths for English majors; it will provide enhanced advisement and planning for the undergraduate degree, offer problem solving assistance to students as they navigate the first year of college, expose students to the range of academic and co-curricular opportunities available to English majors at Geneseo, and provide opportunities for students to interact with members of the faculty and more advanced undergraduates.

  • ENGL 336: Native American Literature

    A study of works by representative Native American writers in their cultural and social contexts. The course will cover a variety of genres.

  • WGST 310: Race, Class & Gender

    This course uses multiple disciplines to explore how identity categories of gender, race, and class intersect. Students will explore and critique relations of power in families, societies, and cultures. In class discussion and in writing, students will reflect on their own ideas and thought processes, and they will engage respectfully with differing ideas.