Megan Sweeney

Professional Title

Associate Professor of Afroamerican & African Studies, English, and Women's Studies


Afroamerican & African Studies
Women's Studies


Megan Sweeney is an Associate Professor in English and Afroamerican and African Studies, with affiliations in Women’s Studies and American Culture. Sweeney's first book, Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons (2010) has recieved national awards. Sweeney has published a collection of women prisoners’ life narratives and reading narratives, as well as essays. She recently completed a creative nonfiction manuscript titled Mendings and is workign on a new project about prison garb. Sweeney is the recipient of year-long fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, UM’s Institute for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and she was a finalist for the 2015 Hiett Prize in the Humanities. Underscoring her commitment to teaching, Sweeney received the Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award in 2010, and in 2014, she was awarded an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship. Sweeney has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in DAAS (2010-2014) and Director of the English Department Writing Program (2012-2018), and she plans to serve a second term as Director of Undergraduate Studies in DAAS. 

Research Interests

carceral state / prisons
community-based research
mixed methods
qualitative research
sexual violence