Professor Emerita Mary Briscoe came to Pitt in 1972 as founding director of the women’s studies program. She served as chair of the English department from 1977 to 1987. She also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1987-1996, then returned to the English department to teach full time before retiring in 2006. She works on American autobiography and women and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries, including literature of the American West. Her books include American Autobiography, 1945-1980; Up Against the Wall, Mother; and a critical edition of Thomas Mellon and His Times.