Lea M. Williams received her B.A. in comparative literature from the American University of Paris and her M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Oregon.
Her dissertation was about the literature of war, a topic, though she did not realize it at the time, that would prepare her to take a position at Norwich University. Here, she regularly teaches military literature and other war-related courses, including special topics courses on women and war, World War I, and the Vietnam War — once taking students to Vietnam for a three-week study-trip.
Her interest in World War I also constitutes part of her research. She has published articles in Nursing History Review and the UK Association for the History of Nursing about Ellen N. La Motte. In fall 2019, she published a book-length biography of La Motte, a 1902 graduate of the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses, an expert in combating tuberculosis, a nurse in a French military hospital during World War I, and an anti-opium crusader,with Manchester University Press. Professor Williams has also written several short pieces La Motte’s life and work, including an encyclopedia entry in American National Biography “La Motte, Ellen Newbold” “La Motte, Ellen Newbold” and several blog pieces, one for the Barbara Bates Center for the History of Nursing and another for Women’s History Network.
In addition to teaching and scholarship, Prof. Williams has taken on various administrative roles during her time at Norwich. She has served as the Faculty Development Coordinator since 2014, overseeing Norwich’s Faculty Development Program, which provides funding and support for faculty to advance their scholarship and teaching. Professor Williams also served as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for five months in 2017. Most recently, in 2017, she began serving as Chair of the Department of English and Communications.