Molly McGehee

Senior Associate Dean for Teaching, Scholarship, & Strategic Initiatives; Professor of English & American Studies

Margaret T. (“Molly”) McGehee is Senior Associate Dean for Teaching, Scholarship, & Strategic Initiatives. She is also Professor of English and American Studies (tenured). She has served as President of the Southern American Studies Association; is an elected member of the boards of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature and the Southern American Studies Association; and is an elected member of the Regional Chapters Committee of the American Studies Association. Dr. McGehee’s current book project (under contract with LSU Press)--Atlanta Fictions: Women Writers' Urban Imaginaries--focuses on the Atlanta imaginary in modern and contemporary fiction, and her scholarly work has appeared in the edited volumes Queering the South On Screen (ed. Tison Pugh, UGA Press) and Remediating Region (eds. Gina Caison, Stephanie Rountree, and Lisa Hinrichsen, LSU Press) and in Southern CulturesSouthern QuarterlyCinema Journal, Studies in American Culture, Southern Spaces, North Carolina Literary Review, and Gale’s American Writers series. At Oxford she has hosted the annual Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. In May 2015, she accompanied Dr. Maren Adams and several students to Japan as part of the Global Connections program; in May 2016, she and Dr. Susan Ashmore (History) co-led a Global Connections trip throughout the U.S. South focused on civil rights and social justice. She has also co-led global learning courses to Hawai'i, Martinique, and France. In spring of 2015, the Black Student Alliance at Oxford presented Dr. McGehee with the Reta Cobb Award. In 2016-17, she received the Fleming Faculty Service Award and the Phi Eta Sigma teaching award. McGehee has twice received the Gregory-Rackley Career Development grant. During the 2017-18 academic year, Dr. McGehee was on sabbatical to work on her book project for which she was awarded a grant from Emory's University Research Committee (URC).

Prior to her arrival at Oxford in the fall of 2014, Dr. McGehee spent six years at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, where she was a tenured Associate Professor of English. There, she received the 2012-13 Professor of the Year Award; an Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities association; and was named a finalist for the 2013 South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the Year Award.




BA| Davidson College| 1997

MA| University of Mississippi| 2000

MA| Emory University| 2003

PhD| Emory University| 2007

Courses Taught

English 185: Critical Reading and Writing

Discovery Seminar: Free to Be Me? The Phenomenon of Passing in U.S. Literature and Film

Discovery Seminar: Monuments, Memorials, Meanings

Southern Literature

African American Literature

Introduction to American Studies

Visual Culture


Fleming Faculty Service Award

Phi Eta Sigma Teaching Award

Emory University Research Committee (URC) Grant

Gregory-Rackley Career Development Grant

Reta Cobb Service Award


“The Horror of Atlanta,” Studies in the Literary Imagination [special issue focused on Atlanta (expected Summer 2024)].

“‘A Place to Sigh’: Dawn Williams Boyd in Conversation with Margaret T. McGehee,” Southern Cultures 28.2 (2022): 48-65.

“‘It’s a State of Mind’: The Online Merch-ing of Southern Whiteness.” In Remediating Region. Eds. Gina Caison, Lisa Hinrichsen, and Stephanie Rountree. (LSU P, 2021.) 

“‘Vienners’ at Odom’s: DeAundra Peek and the Atlanta Televisual Drag Scene.” In Queering the South on Screen. Ed. Tison Pugh. (U of Georgia P, 2020.) 

“Mr. Seabrook Goes to Haiti, or Southern (Self-)Mastery in The Magic Island (1929).” Southern Quarterly, special edition on the U.S. South and Caribbean edited by John W. Lowe (summer 2018). (Co-authored with Emily Taylor.) 

“Seeking Peace, Seeking Justice: Place-Based Pedagogies and Global Connections.” In Interdisciplinary Approaches to Pedagogy and Place-Based Education: From the Abstract to the Quotidian. Eds. Deric Shannon and Jeff Galle. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming 2017. (Co-authored with Jill Petersen Adams.)

“Disturbing the Peace: Lost Boundaries, Pinky, and Censorship in Atlanta, Georgia, 1945-1952.” In Atlanta Goes to the Movies. Eds. Matthew Bernstein and Dana White. Athens: U of Georgia P, forthcoming 2017. [This is a reprint of article published in Cinema Journal 46.1 (2006).]

“Moving Away from the Lenticular?: The Politics of Race, Gender, and Place in Godfrey Cheshire’s Moving Midway,” North Carolina Literary Review 24 (2015): 52-65. Available at

“Dynamiting the Levees: The South in Transition in Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun,” Studies in American Culture 35.1 (2012): 95-110. Winner of Jerome K. Stern Award for Best Article in Studies in American Culture, 2012.

 “An ‘Urban Oasis’: Pearl Cleage’s West End Imaginary.” In Pearl Cleage and Free Womanhood: Essays on Her Prose Works. Ed. Tikenya Foster-Singletary and Aisha Francis. Jefferson: McFarland, 2012. 15-36.

“Anne Rivers Siddons.” American Writers Supplement XXII. Ed. Jay Parini. Gale, 2011. 239-54.

“A Plague of Bulldozers: Celestine Sibley and Suburban Sprawl,” Southern Spaces (March 2009). Available at

“Disturbing the Peace: Lost Boundaries, Pinky, and Censorship in Atlanta, Georgia, 1945-1952.” Cinema Journal 46.1 (2006): 23-51.

Book Reviews 

Review of The Whole Machinery: The Rural Modern in Cultures of the U.S. South, 1890-1946(UP of Georgia, 2020) by Benjamin S. Child, forthcoming in The Journal of Southern History. 

 Review of The South of the Mind by Zachary J. Lechner. Study the South (March 4, 2019): 



"DeAundra Peek and the Atlanta Televisual Drag Scene," University of Georgia Library, invited virtual talk, October 7, 2020.

“Beyond Borders, Walls, and Binaries: Creating Inclusive Classroom Spaces,” Pedagogical Roundtable, The Society of the Study of Southern Literature, April 2020. Cancelled due to COVID-19. 

“Insufferable Shirts: The Online Merch-ing of Southern Whiteness,” The Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Austin, Texas, February 2018. 

“DeAundra Peek and the Atlanta Televisual Drag Scene,” Inaugural lecture for the Oxford University Queer Studies Network, Oxford, UK, November 2017 (invited speaker as part of Oxford College’s Pierce Visiting Scholar Program). 

“Celestine Sibley’s Atlanta Imaginary,” Revival: Lost Southern Voices, sponsored by Georgia State University/Georgia Perimeter, April 1, 2017 (invited speaker).

“Transfusing Exurban Atlanta: Vampires, Television Tourism, and the Not-Quite-Deadness of Rural Georgia,” Southern American Studies Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, March 2017.

“Sleuthing and the City: Atlanta, Contemporary Detective Fiction, and the Re-Inscription of Southern Identity,” The Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2016. 

“Bitter Gardens, Glossy Guns, and the Ziney South,” Currencies/ Exchanges/ Convergences: Contemporary Southern Media Roundtable, The Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2016.

“Out of Denmark and the U.S. South: Karen Blixen and Carson McCullers,” Oxford College Community Classroom, Oxford, Georgia, December 2015.

“Becoming Known: Liminality and the Search for American Identity in Cristina Henríquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans,” Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States Conference (MELUS), Athens, Georgia, April 2015.

“Out of Denmark: The Literary Alliance of Carson McCullers and Karen Blixen,” Southern American Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia, February 2015.

The Magic Island Revisited: William Seabrook and the U.S. South-Caribbean Connection,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2014.

Research Interests

The Atlanta imaginary in fiction; LGBTQ life and literature in/of the South; race, class, and gender relations within southern literature and history