Tracy  Seeley

Tracy Seeley


Tracy Seeley grew up mostly in Kansas, and like many young Kansans, couldn't wait to leave. Going back thirty years later is the subject of her forthcoming book, My Ruby Slippers: the Road Back to Kansas (University of Nebraska Press, 2011). Always a book lover growing up, she also loved biology and had a hard time in college deciding between English and Biology. Literature finally won out, and she finished her B.A. in English from the University of Dallas. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in 19th-and 20th-century British literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She came to USF in 1993, after teaching for five years at Yale University in the literature and Bass Writing programs.

Dr. Seeley's literary research has focused primarily on the period between 1880 and 1939, with publications on Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Joseph Conrad, Victorian women essayists, the poet and essayist Alice Meynell, and the 1890s Metaphysical Poetry Revival. Her creative work in nonfiction grew out of her teaching experience at Yale, where she fell in love with the essay. She began writing literary nonfiction during her year as NEH Chair in the Humanities at USF (2004-2005); as Chair, she also organized a two-week campus-wide arts event and a scholarly symposium devoted to the idea of place. That work eventually became My Ruby Slippers. She has also published literary nonfiction in journals such as the Florida Review and Prairie Schooner.

In the course of working on her book, Dr. Seeley became interested in the relation of literature to environmental thought, and has taught courses in Literature and Environment for USF's Core curriculum in literature. She is currently working on a series of essays about cities, humans and the natural world.

Dr. Seeley received the Distinguished Teaching Award at USF in 2001. She has been a finalist for the Iowa Review nonfiction award and the Brenda Ueland Nonfiction Prize. Her co-authored screenplay short won a Bronze Remy at the Houston International Film Festival, and she was a fellow of the Edward Albee Center for Creative Persons, fondly known as "The Barn."


Ph.D., Victorian and Modernist British Literature, University of Texas, Austin, 1988

Research Areas

Environmental Writing
Creative Nonfiction
British Modernism
Poetry and Prose of the 1890s

Courses Offered
  • British Modernism
  • Victorian Poetry and Prose
  • Literature and the Environment
  • Creative Nonfiction
Selected Creative Publications:
My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas (University of Nebraska Press, 2011).

"Cartographies of Change."  Prairie Schooner (Summer 2010).

"Monument Rocks." The Florida Review (Winter 2008).

"What the Prairie Teaches." Kansas English 92.1 (Spring 2008).

"My Mother's Hands."  The World is a Text: Writing, Reading and Thinking About Culture and its Contexts.  2nd edition.  Eds. Jonathan Silverman and Dean Rader.  Prentice Hall, 2006.  606-610.

Selected Academic Publications:

"'O Brother What Art Thou?': Thoughts on Postmodern Pranksterism," Post Script 27.2 (Winter/Spring 2008): 97-106.

"Flights of Fancy: Spatial Digression and Storytelling in A Room of One's Own."  Locating Woolf: The Politics of Space and Place.  Eds.  Anna Snaith and Michael H. Whitworth.  Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 31-45.

"'The sun shines on a world re-arisen to pleasure': The Fin-de-Si├Ęcle Metaphysical Revival." Compass (online, Blackwell) 3/2 (2006): 195-217.

"The Fair Light Mystery of Images': Alice Meynell's Metaphysical Poetry." Journal of Victorian Literature and Culture 34.2 (2006): 663-84.

"'Taking Life Greatly to Heart': Alice Meynell's Essays."  Women's Studies 27 (1998): 105-130.

"Virginia Woolf's Poetics of Space in 'The Lady in the Looking-Glass: a Reflection'." Woolf Studies Annual 2 (1996): 89-116.

"Victorian Women's Essays and Dinal Mulock's Thoughts: Creating an Ethos for Argument." Prose Studies 19.1 (April 1996): 89-116.

Reviews published in Review of English Studies, Brevity, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, The Women's Review of Books, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Yale Review.
Co-author of screenplay for a 35-minute short film, Crocodile.  Won the Bronze Remy for screenplay adaptation at the Houston International Film Festival in 2002.