Dr. Cunningham earned her Ph.D. at Ohio University and specializes in Victorian Literature and Women and Gender Studies. Her dissertation and current research focus on the representation of disfigurement and disability in the 19th century, particularly on the inattention given to the active efforts at self-representation on the part of the disabled and to repeatedly recasting their victimization as obvious and unilateral, rather than contested and resisted. In an article in progress, she demonstrates the level of subjectivity and agency of one severely disfigured Victorian woman, Harriet Langdon, who fights for a pensioner's position in the Royal Hospital for Incurables with the aid of amateur poet and social scientist Arthur Joseph Munby.

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Dr. Cunningham has a Women's Studies Certificate from Ohio University and teaches a number of Women and Gender Studies courses, including Introduction to WGST, Women and Literature, Women's Autobiography, Gender and Society, Women and Writing, and Queer Literature. She also frequently teaches courses in Multicultural Literature, like the American Dream, and in Rhetoric and Composition, like the senior writing seminar in Disability Studies.

Dr. Cunningham received St. John Fisher's Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence for the year 2007-2008.