Sarah Eilefson earned her Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago and has been with UMD since January 2021. She is a scholar of 20th-century American and British literature and draws on a variety of fields to complement her work, including women’s and gender studies, psychology, trauma theory, textual studies, and the digital humanities.
Her teaching philosophy can be summed up with the environmentalist mantra “knowing but not doing means not knowing.” In the classroom, Dr. Eilefson engages students in interdisciplinary learning and facilitates regular opportunities for students to practice what they know. By asking students to engage in dialogue with themselves and with one another—with all the questions and conflicts such conversations raise—Dr. Eilefson hopes that students end the semester with a stronger voice capable of acknowledging, absorbing, and responding to contradictions, complexities, and challenges. Knowing, in her classroom, is both demonstrated and achieved through the doing: through the active participation in discussion, the open engagement with texts and our world, and the sustained attention to critical thinking and writing processes.
Dr. Eilefson serves on the College & Advanced Writing Program Committee. She sits on the board of directors for CAN TV, Chicago’s public access network, and CodeCreate, an educational non-profit that provides creative workshops to youth-focused on technology, art, and diversity.
Dr. Eilefson is originally from the Duluth area and is delighted to return to the Northland.