Laurie’s teaching focuses the intersections of justice, gender relations, and race/ ethnicity in American literatures, while emphasizing the importance of resourcefulness and creativity in the critical act. Her courses span American literary history and cultural studies: ranging from early-nation fiction and the American Renaissance’s many literary components, to studies of the American novel—from late-19th century narratives of ‘progress’ and passing, to mid-century noir and contemporary studies in multiethnic, migrant, and ‘urban’ literatures. Of primary importance in her teaching is awakening students to the intricate interplays, revealed through literature, between American cultures, social reality, and the nation’s many fictions.
Laurie has published on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing; the ideological condition of post-911 America; the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simson—among other topics. She has presented her scholarship at professional conferences around the world, including material on Jacques Derrida, Angela Davis, Carlene Hatcher Polite, and many others. Her research has been featured in Johns Hopkins’ College Literature, Critical Legal Thinking, Cambridge University’s Journal of American Studies, Bowling Green University’s Rhizomes, and elsewhere. Laurie has also reviewed book and article manuscripts for publishers such as Routledge, Johns Hopkins University Press, and others.
Her book, The American Novel After Ideology, 1961-2000 (Bloomsbury, Dec. 2020) combines her work for College Literature with new examinations of well-known novels by writers such as J.D. Salinger, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Philip Roth. These “difficult” novels, she claims, hold period-specific resources that inform a 21st-century approach to ‘multiethnic’ American literary studies, promising to expand readers’ perception of ideology’s role in American culture, even well after the “end of ideology,” following WWII.