Eileen T. Bender, Professor of English at Indiana University South Bend, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Northwestern University where she majored in English and Journalism, graduating with distinction from the Medill School of Journalism After receiving NDEA and Danforth-Kent Fellowships, she attended the University of Notre Dame where she received her Ph.D. in English in 1977. She has held faculty appointments at Yale, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Notre Dame, and served in both faculty and administrative capacities at Indiana University South Bend and IU Bloomington, where, as a special academic advisor to the President, she founded the university’s state-wide teaching academy, the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), and served as FACET’s University Director until 2001.
Her teaching interests focus on American Literature (particularly 20th and 21st century), Women’s Studies, Ethnic and Minority Literature, and Literature for Children and Adolescents.
Bender is the author of a critical study, Joyce Carol Oates, Artist in Residence, published by Indiana University Press. Her other publications include articles on American Literature and Women’s Studies, focusing on work by Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Theodore Dreiser, Fannie Hurst, William Styron, and Toni Morrison. She has also written and made conference presentations about Contemporary Jewish writers Philip Roth, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E.M. Broner, and Frances Sherwood. She has also edited two volumes of short essays on college teaching (Quick Hits) and a study of on-line instruction, Closing the Distance.
Dr. Bender has received a number of awards for her teaching, scholarship, and service, including the Sylvia Bowman Award in American Studies, the W. George Pinnell Award for distinguished university service, the Eldon Lundquist Fellowship, the P. A. Mack Award for distinguished service to college teaching, the Carnegie-Case “Professor of the Year” award, and the President’s Thomas Hart Benton Medal. She has also served on the Editorial Boards of Soundings, To Improve the Academy, Research and Creative Activity, the Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and The IUSB Review. She is currently a Contributing Editor of the Carnegie Foundation journal Change.
Bender’s civic and community appointments have included President of the St. Joseph County Library Board, Secretary of the South Bend Community School Corporation Board of Trustees, founding director of the Community Education Roundtable, and board member of the Kurt and Tessye Simon Fund for Holocaust Remembrance.