Phyllis Betz, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

I have always thought that a full appreciation of literature requires, not only understanding the “great” authors, but also bringing in those texts and writers often considered secondary or too popular. While my training has been in late-19th and early-20th century American literature, I have made a conscious effort to widen the circle of what is seen as worthy of study. I consider myself part of the continuing effort to recover literature by lesser-known and under-appreciated women writers, like Louisa May Alcott’s adult fiction, the social novels of Margaret Deland, and the linking of Fanny Fern to her male contemporaries. My second major area of interest is the linkages between popular culture and popular literature.

I have taught at La Salle for 20 years as both an adjunct and full-time professor, teaching courses in composition and literature. I am currently a member of the Women’s Studies Board and the Advisory Board for the Core Curriculum. I have also served on various departmental committees.


  • B.A., M.A., St. Joseph’s University
  • M.A. University of Maine
  • Ph.D. University of Maryland

Other Professional Activity

My interest in the study of popular genre has resulted in my publishing three books on lesbian writers of detective, romance, and fantasy fiction. I have also had articles on detective fiction published in the journal Clues. In addition I have presented papers on a variety of topics at professional conferences. I have also been invited to speak on my areas of expertise at other universities.