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Keli Masten completed her PhD in English at Western Michigan University, specializing in the study of American and British literatures, particularly the gothic, the detective story, and writings of the early United States. She also has a strong interest in Black American and New American/Immigrant literatures. Masten was awarded a 2019 State of Michigan King-Chavez-Parks fellowship for her reputation as a tireless advocate for students.

The article, "
Cherchez la Femme: A Good Woman’s Place in Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction," was published in Clues: A Journal of Detection (2
018) and also won her the WMU Edward Galligan Memorial Award in American Literary Scholarship.

Masten's essay,
Violet Strange: Gothic Girl Detective," which explores gender, class, and gothic violence in the adventures of Anna Katharine Green's young girl detective, is included in the edited collection New Directions in Gothic Studies: Rethinking Gothic Transgressions of Gender and Sexuality, and will be published in 2023. 

Her developmental writing textbook and reader, entitled Doing the Thing: Surviving and Thriving in College Writing (2023), features graphic illustrations and satirical banter to soothe the savage freshmen

 current literary book project is entitled Dark Logic: The American Gothic in Mysteries of Detection, and argues that American detective fiction grows out of the gothic literary tradition, citing examples from Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, Anna Katharine Green, Mark Twain, and Dashiell Hammett.

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