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Brenden O'Donnell

Brenden O’Donnell’s research focuses on the intersection between queer studies and the medical humanities. He is particularly interested in lesbian and gay organizations’ ambivalent relationship with addiction recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In his writing, he argues that Stonewall-period lesbian and gay literature cultivates addiction recovery resources for sexual minorities alienated by medical and religious discourses. He has published scholarship about Gore Vidal, Gayle Rubin, ONE Magazine and Edith Wharton.

O’Donnell has designed and taught courses about addiction studies, lesbian and gay fiction, mid-century paperback novels and queer bars and clubs. He is also a teacher of writing with more than 10 ten years of experience in tutoring and leading seminars, and he co-directed the Writing Center at Brandeis University, where he developed workshops and oversaw the training of writing tutors. In his teaching, he encourages students to invest fascination and love into new sites of inquiry and to adopt innovative approaches to exploring burgeoning and interdisciplinary fields. Writing is important to this pedagogy because it provides students with an opportunity to express their unique connections with texts.

Academic research/areas of interest

20th-century American literature
LGBTIA literature
Queer studies
Addiction studies
Feminist theory
Medical humanities

Fall 2019 Courses

  • LAS-E101-23 First-year Literature Seminar
  • LAS-E101-24 First-year Literature Seminar
  • LAS-E591-01 Let's Have A Kiki: Stories Of Queer Bars and Drag Balls

Wintersession 2020 Courses

  • LAS-W261-01 Literature Between Habit and Addiction