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Columbia College Chicago
Karen Lee Osborne
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Karen Lee Osborne

First Year Writing, Literature


Karen Lee Osborne has taught at Columbia College since 1987 and was named Teacher of the Year for 1996. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. She enjoys teaching courses ranging from first-year writing through graduate literature seminars, and has developed many additions to Karen Lee Osbornethe curriculum. A few of these are Literature and Visual Culture, graduate seminars on Emily Dickinson and on Native American Literature, The Literature of HIV:AIDS: Service Learning, and Writing and Rhetoric II: Service Learning: Creating Queer Communities. She is scheduled to teach another new course, The Literature of Loss and Healing, in spring 2013. She is currently drafting an essay about theoretical, pedagogical, and practical considerations in teaching The Literature of AIDS: Service Learning for a forthcoming collection.

Karen's novels include Carlyle Simpson, (Academy Chicago, 1986), winner of the Friends of American Writers Award and the Chicago Foundation for Literature Award, and Hawkwings (Third Side Press, 1991). She edited The Country of Herself: Short Fiction by Chicago Women (Third Side, 1993), and co-edited, with William Spurlin, Reclaiming the Heartland: Lesbian and Gay Voices from the Midwest (University of Minnesota Press, 1996). Her chapbook Survival was published in 1998. Her story "Getting What You Came for" was the basis for A Common Flower, a 1992 film by Doreen Bartoni (Film/Video Department) that has been screened at film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Karen has conducted writing workshops for a number of organizations and is at work on a third novel, portions of which have been published. Her essays, articles, fiction, creative nonfiction and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and collections, and she has presented many papers at conferences such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) convention. During 1985-86 she was a Fulbright lecturer in American Literature in the Republic of Georgia.

She has also served in several administrative capacities within the department, such as Acting Director of Literature and Acting Graduate Coordinator. As coordinator of Introduction to Literature until spring 2000, she created an extensive website for the program, highlighting the creative work of many students. She created the English Department website in 1998 and maintained its directories and pages for several years. As a Technology Fellow in 2000, she developed web enhancements for her Virginia Woolf seminar.

Office Location: English Department, 300-Y, 3rd floor, 33 E. Congress 

Office Phone: 312-369-8123 

Email: kosborne@colum.edu

Mailing Address: 
Karen Lee Osborne 
Department of English 
Columbia College of Chicago 
600 So. Michigan Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60605-1996