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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 well 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 on-going research: a book-length biography of Ellen N. 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. Several short pieces Prof. Williams wrote about La Motte’s life and work are available at www.anb.org/articles/13/13-02684.html and historian.nursing.upenn.edu/2016/06/09/new-opium-epidemics-old-problems-ellen-la-motte-and-the-anti-opium-crusade/.
In addition to teaching and scholarship, Prof. Williams has taken on various administrative roles for the past three years. 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. Prof. Williams also served as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for five months in 2017. Most recently, she began a term as Chair of the Department of English and Communications.