Becky McLaughlin

McLaughlin Headshot

Becky McLaughlin | Professor

Generalist with particular interests in psychoanalysis and sexuality.

HUMB 279  |  460-7991  |

Hysteria, Perversion, and Paranoia CoverHysteria, Perversion, and Paranoia in "The Canterbury Tales": "Wild" Analysis and the Symptomatic Storyteller. Medieval Institute Publications, 2020.

Beginning with the spectacle of hysteria, moving through the perversions of fetishism, masochism, and sadism, and ending with paranoia and psychosis, this book explores the ways that conflicts with the Oedipal law erupt on the body and in language in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, for Chaucer's tales are rife with issues of mastery and control that emerge as conflicts not only between authority and experience but also between power and knowledge, word and flesh, rule books and reason, man and woman, same and other—conflicts that erupt in a macabre sprawl of broken bones, dismembered bodies, cut throats, and decapitations. Like the macabre sprawl of conflict in the Canterbury Tales, this book brings together a number of conflicting modes of thinking and writing through the surprising and perhaps disconcerting use of "shadow" chapters that speak to or against the four "central" chapters, creating both dialogue and interruption.

Books Edited

  • American Fanatics, Heretics, and Rebels: Hot Protestants and Religious Strife in Early American Literature, 1620-1865. Ed. Becky McLaughlin. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing 2022. Web.
  • The Body in Theory: Essays after Lacan and Foucault. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2021. (Edited with Eric Daffron.)
  • Putting Theory Into Practice In the Contemporary Classroom: Theory Lessons. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. 
  • Everyday Theory: A Contemporary Reader. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. (Edited with Bob Coleman.)


  • "Desperately Seeking Wilco."  Rock Music Studies 5.1 (2018): 29-45.  Web.  (Invited)       
  • "Fetishizing Lack: Claustrophobia and the Desiring Body of the Amputee Wannabe."  Oracle: Fine Arts Review 13 (2015): 13-24.  Print.  (Invited)
  • "From Punishment to Punctuation: The Primal Scene and the Pedagogy of Psychoanalysis." Knowledge Cultures 3.2 (2015): 98-111.  Print.
  • "Learning to Shudder: Sex, Ideology, and the Pedagogical Function of Horror."  Journal of the College English Association: Middle-Atlantic Group 24 (2015): 21-28.  Print.
  • "Chaucer's Cut."  Approaches to Teaching Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 2nd edition.  Ed. Frank Grady and Peter Travis.  New York: Modern Language Association, 2014.  156-159.  Print.
  • "Gothicizing Apotemnophilia: Live Burial, Secret Desire, and the Uncanny Body of the Amputee Wannabe." Word and Text: A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics 3.2 (2013): 133-147. Print.
  • "Big Sex: The Story of the Silver Nail and Other Objects of (Mass) Construction." Writing From Below 1.2 (2013): 19-30. Web.
  • "Enhanced Creativity and Problem Solving: An Interdisciplinary Approach" (in collaboration with Michael Doran, Jack Shelley-Tremblay, and Bob Coleman).  Proceedings of the 16th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Vol. 2.  Ed. Nagib Callaos, et al.  Orlando, FL: The 16th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 2012.  161-166.  Print.
  • "'Oh, maybe I was wrong': Doubt, Conversion, and Redemption in Breaking the Waves."  Faith and Spirituality in Masters of World Cinema.  Vol. 2.  Ed. Kenneth Moreland.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar's Publishing, 2011. 152-167.
  • "Literature, Theory, and the Beatific Effects of Reading."  Literature and Ethics: From the Green Knight to the Dark Knight.  Ed. Steve Brie and William T. Rossiter.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.  159-174.
  • "Staging Perversion: The Restoration's Sexual Allegory of (Un)civil War." Sexual Perversions, 1670-1890.  Ed. Julie Peakman.  London: Palgrave, 2009.  50-71.
  • "Madness."  Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature.  3 Vols.  Ed. John Phillips and Gaetan Brulotte.  New York: Routledge, 2006.
  • "Monsters."  Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature.  3 Vols.  Ed. John Phillips and Gaetan Brulotte.  New York: Routledge, 2006.
  • "Playing Ball With God: Breaking the Law in Breaking the Waves." Textual Ethos Studies or Locating Ethics. Ed. Anna Fahraeus and Ann Katrin Jonsson. New York: Rodopi International Press, 2005.  85-100.
  • "The Reeve's Paranoid Eye, or the Dramatics of 'Bleared' Sight." Anamorphosis: A Journal of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis and the San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies. Ed. Janet Thormann. Number 5, 2002: 91-129.
  • "Sex Cuts." Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire. Ed. Merri Lisa Johnson. Foreword by Jane Gallop. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows Press, 2002. 65-90.
  • "Pounding the 'Amy' Out of Imagism, or 'Jouiring' Like an Idiot Carrying a Big Stick." Journal of Imagism. Ed. George P. Castellitto. Fall 2000: 23-33.
  • "Perverse Pleasure and Fetishized Text: The Deathly Erotics of Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber.'" Style. Volume 29, Number 3, Fall 1995: 404-422.
  • "The Fairytale Romance: A Story of Repressed Beauties and Displaced Beasts." Selected Essays from the International Conference on Myth and Fantasy 1991. Ed. Joseph Tyler. Carrollton, GA: West Georgia International Conference, 1994. 48-60.
  • "Gab and Garb in Restoration Comedy: The (un)Fashionable Language of Clothes." Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research. Summer 1991: 10-29.
  • "In the Classroom: How to Combat Nuclear War Using Female Gender Identity Formation, the Idea as Gift, Pop Music, and Brecht's 'Alienation Effect," excerpts appear in Millicent Lenz's Nuclear Age Literature for Youth: The Quest for a Life-Affirming Ethic. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990. 254-56, 292.

Book Reviews

  • Rev. of Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction, ed. Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel, and Lauren Shizuko Stone.  Studies in American Culture 40.1 (October 2017): 147-48.  Print.
  • "Picking at Peck." Rev. of Halls of Jade, Walls of Stone, by Stacey Peck. Pengyou Press 18 January 1988.
  • "Chinese Literary Criticism." Rev. of Wang Kuo-Wei's Jen-Chien Tz'u-Hua, ed. Adele Austin Rickets. Pengyou Press 18 January 1988.

Creative Nonfiction

  • "Crying's Diaper."  Auto/Fiction 2.1 (November 2017): 99-116.  Print.
  • "Growing Up Out of Place."  Children of the Changing South: Accounts of Growing Up During and After Integration.  Ed. Foster Dickson.  North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2012.  81-90.
  • "Singing the 'Stuttgart, Ark.' Blues with Bukka White, Or How I Utterly Failed to Be Like Elvis." Arkansas Literary Forum. Vol. 6, 2004. Ed. Marck L. Beggs. (invited)
  • "Losing Jack (bang)." Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies. Ed. William M. Clements. Vol. 33, Number 2. August 2002: 121-127.
  • "From Tight Fittin' Buses to Tight Fittin' Jeans." Bamboo Leaves: A China Reader. Ed. Bert Lobe, et. al. Winnipeg, Manitoba: China Educational Exchange, 1989. 32-34.


  • "Muffin Theology." Zizzle Literary 4 (2021): 89-97. Print.
  • "Strange Cookie."  Transverse 15 (2016): 130-142.  Print.
  • "BogMyth." Splinter Hill Bog: The Writing Project. Ed. Janet Nodar. Mobile, AL: Bog Press, 2003. 17-23.
  • "The Very Small Things That Fall." Westview: A Journal of Western Oklahoma. Ed. Fred Alsberg. Vol, 20, Number 2. Spring/Summer 2001: 15-27.
  • Excerpt from and commentary on "The Very Small Things That Fall" appear in Artist Residency Exchange: Western New York. Ed. Roger Trietley. Buffalo, NY: Parkside Press, 1998. 12-14.


  • "Love Is a Symptom, or Is It a Cigar?" Nefarious Ballerina: Intelligently Erotic.  Ed. Gordon Purkis.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.  2-4.  Print.

Visual Art

  • "Camera Obscura0010": Frontispiece.  [digital collage]  The Humanities Review 7.2 (2009).  Print.