Deshae Lott

determined sojourner

Deshae in her study

Academic biography

Deshae earned her Ph.D. with a major in English and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Her M.A. major was English with a minor in Sociolinguistics. She has done freelance professional and technical writing and editing for years, primarily in the area of print documents; but she has also worked for an international company as the manager of a 12-member technical writing team; the team primarily focused on writing for the web.

Deshae's primary research interest involves the intersections of literary works, social practices, and American religious cultures, especially those which are mystical and syncretic in nature. Drawing upon her interdisciplinary background in nineteenth-century American literature, religion, and philosophy, her current major research project-entitled "'This Mutual Visionary Life': The Mystical Model of Margaret Fuller" - explores Fuller's previously unexamined contributions to American religious culture through her teaching, journalism, and political activism.

Deshae has presented portions of her research at major American literature conferences in Baltimore, Cambridge, San Diego, and Long Beach; at regional conferences in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana; and at international conferences in Dallas, San Antonio, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Canterbury/England, Rome/Italy, and Montreal/Canada; in sum, she has given more than 25 papers, arranged and chaired about a dozen conference panels, and co-created a digital art installation.
Her publications include articles in the journals Resources in American Literary Study, Studia Mystica, South Central Review, The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography, the Margaret Fuller Newsletter, the American Religion and Literature Society Newsletter, and Proceedings of the Philological Association of Louisiana; chapters in the books Subterraneans and Celebrities: Reconstructing the Beat Generation, Embodied Rhetorics: Disability in Language and Culture, and Re-Inventing the Peabody Sisters; and in entries in reference works such as Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, The American Renaissance in New England, Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, and Dictionary of Literary Biography.

To further the scholarly community's research in the both areas of religion and literature in general and Margaret Fuller and the American nineteenth-century in particular, Deshae served a three-year term on the Executive Council for the Margaret Fuller Society and a three-year term as the Vice President and Treasurer of the American Religion and Literature Society. Currently she is a founding editor for the American Religion and Literature Society Newsletter, an annual publication. Deshae has served as a referee for Longman Publishers and the journals Papers on Language and Literature and Studia Mystica; she also has worked as an Editorial Consultant for the journal Feminist Studies. Some of her creative writing has been published through the years, including a poem in the May/June 2005 issue of Quest magazine, a publication of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She more recently has written opinion pieces for Quest and Ventilator-Assisted Living and a report for Ventilator-Assisted Living on survey she conducted of vent users’ quality of life and intimacy. A version of the latter also appears at, a free website hosted by The Sexual Health Network (TSHN). In her younger days she Co-Edited her junior-high and high-school yearbooks and Spectra, LSUS's Literary and Arts Magazine; she also worked as a Copy Editor for The Almagest, LSUS's campus newspaper.

Deshae and her now-deceased service dog Ulina appeared in the summer of 2005 on the back of a frozen treat for dogs: Frosty Paws. Ulina endorsed the Frosty Paws products, and Deshae is always happy to inform people about service animals and Canine Companions for Independence, the organization that bred and trained Ulina.

Deshae sees her scholarship and civic service in the field of disability studies as akin to her studies of American religion and literature. A mixture of syncretism and individualism appears in mysticism, and the mystics whom she prefers to study strive to avoid allowing their difference to prevent their engagement in a larger community; instead, they endeavor to contribute constructively to their communities. Through her contributions to disability studies, Deshae also demonstrates ways that difference can strengthen both the individual and the community and proposes approaches for understanding and responding to such differences.

Deshae delights in the innovative thinking that teaching involves and in students' enthusiasm, intelligence, and creativity. Teaching was one of her primary reasons for obtaining a Ph.D. in literature. She held academic positions as a Post-doctoral Lecturer at Texas A&M University, as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, and as and Adjunct Instructor at Louisiana State University Shreveport

At the university level, Deshae has worked with more than 2500 students in 14 different kinds of courses sponsored by English and Humanities Departments. The Literature Courses she has taught include the Senior- and Graduate-Level Seminars American Spirituality and Literature (primarily twentieth-century texts; taught in a traditional classroom setting and online, both but separately) and Early American Literature (the Beginnings to the 1820s) as well as the Sophomore-Level Courses American Literature Survey I (Colonial through Romantic Periods), English Literature Survey I (Early Anglo-Saxon through Neoclassical Writings), English Literature Survey II (Romantic Period through Present Day Writings), English Literature Survey (Early Anglo-Saxon through Present Day Writings), Introduction to Poetry and Drama, and Introduction to Literature. The Writing Courses Deshae Lott has taught include Literary Theory and Research (junior level; required for English majors and minors), Professional and Technical Writing, Advanced Technical Writing and Editing (junior, senior, and graduate level), Composition I (Rhetoric and Research), Composition II (Writing about Literature), and Creative Writing. She has taught most of these courses numerous times and has taught Professional and Technical Writing many times in the traditional classroom, the computer classroom, and the online environment via the Blackboard and MOODLE systems. Other avenues of her academic teaching include directing independent studies and master's theses.

In 2007, Deshae completed a series of essays that describes her life philosophy, utilizing her own experiences common to the human condition as well as those particular to her disability. Lemonade for Sale may be sampled and purchased at or