Lori Campbell-Tanner

  • Teaching Professor, Advisor

Lori's Affiliations: Cherry Bomb, Children's Literature, Fantasy Studies Fellowship, Fredrick Honors College, Pitt Potter Project, Pitt Quadball Club, University Center for International Studies.

Lori Campbell-Tanner received M.A. and Doctorate degrees in English at Duquesne University and a B.A. in English at University of Pittsburgh. She teaches and publishes in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-/Twenty-first Century Literature and Cultural Studies, particularly in Fantasy, Childhood Studies, Mythology and Folklore Studies, and the Gothic. Dr. Campbell-Tanner is also an academic advisor in the Department of English and Film and Media Studies program.

Research and Publications

Dr. Campbell-Tanner’s second book, A Quest of Her Own: Essays on the Female Hero in Modern Fantasy (McFarland and Co., 2014) offers a nuanced look at female heroism as it influences and is influenced by the society out of which it is constructed. Dr. Campbell-Tanner’s first book, Portals of Power: Magical Agency and Transformation in Literary Fantasy (McFarland and Co., 2010), expands the portal concept based on the ways in which fantasists use movement between worlds to respond to contemporary real-world power dynamics, especially regarding women and children. Chapters from these books have been reprinted in Children’s Literature Review and Contemporary Literary Criticism. 

Dr. Campbell-Tanner has published articles on J.R.R. Tolkien and the child reader, inheritance and resistance in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the creative/destructive male gaze in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novels, and the Woman Question in William Morris’ romances. She has also published introductions to new editions of classic texts by Barnes and Noble, including Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Herland and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Complete Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott; and by Race Point Publishing, The Complete Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Most recently, she wrote the Foreword to Hidden Realms, a collection of Gothic short stories, published by Simon & Schuster. 

Special Projects: Now the faculty advisor for four undergraduate student organizations, Dr. Campbell-Tanner was named “2019 Non-Student Affairs Faculty Advisor of the Year” by Student Affairs. 

In 2005, Dr. Campbell-Tanner started The Fantasy Studies Fellowship, a social and intellectual discussion group open to Pitt undergraduates of all majors who are dedicated to the study and appreciation of the Fantastic. In 2018, Dr. Campbell-Tanner helped the FSF to establish the “What’s Next?” career series in which alumni members of the FSF are invited back to talk about their career paths and give advice. In 2017, Dr. Campbell-Tanner led the group in organizing “Many Worlds, More Voices: Diversity in Fantasy and Science Fiction.” The first event was a panel on the topic featuring NYTimes Best-selling author of the Shades of Magic trilogy V.E. (Victoria) Schwab. Five years earlier, the group celebrated its tenth anniversary in March 2015 with a conference on “Tolkien and Modern Fantasy” with talks from NYT Bestselling author Laini Taylor and scholar/founding editor of Tolkien Studies journal Michael Drout. The FSF also hosts a series of live online author chats, most recently with Dimitra Fimi, Co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic in Glasgow, Scotland. Previous speakers include NYTimes best-selling authors Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor), Kristin Cashore (Graceling) and V.E. Schwab (Shades of Darkness, Vicious, The Secret Life of Addie Larue). The FSF meets monthly to discuss books, films, and other media chosen by its members. For more information, contact Dr. Campbell-Tanner at lmc5@pitt.edu. Email fsfpitt@gmail.com to join the mailing list. 

Since its debut in 2014, Dr. Campbell-Tanner has served as the Faculty Advisor for Pitt Project Potter, a Harry Potter themed service organization open to Pitt undergraduates of all majors. Learn more and get involved by joining Pitt Project Potter on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pittprojectpotter 

Dr. Campbell-Tanner is also the Faculty Advisor for the Pitt Quadball Club, and for Cherry Bomb, a newly created literary magazine run by undergraduates in the Department of English.


J.R.R. Tolkien and the Counterculture (Honors) 

Harry Potter: Blood, Power, Culture 

The Female Hero Fantasy Childhood’s Books Children and Culture The Gothic Imagination 

Representing Adolescence and other courses in Children’s Literature 

Awards and Distinctions

Recipient, Non-Student Affairs Faculty Advisor of the Year for 2019, Pitt Office of Student Affairs 

Nominee, Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, 2011 and 2008 Nominee, Bellet Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, 2011 and 2008 Recipient, CGS Student Choice Award for Teaching Excellence, 2007 Recipient, Fellowship for the Provost’s Faculty Diversity Seminar, 2007 

Research Interests

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature and Cultural Studies, Fantasy, Childhood Studies, Mythology, the Gothic, Feminist Studies, Romantic and Victorian literature