Faculty & Staff
Avery Point Faculty Profile: Pam Bedore
By Liz Kading
As a child in Ontario, Canada, Pamela E. Bedore
made short work of the children's section in her local library,
and soon ran out of things to read. An appeal to the librarian
led the voracious young reader to the adult popular fiction
section, where she eagerly began to "pick an author
and read through" his or her complete works.
the young Bedore reached the crime novels of Ed McBain,
an enduring fascination with detective fiction was born.
Bedore's early affinity for popular fiction followed her
to college and beyond: Dr. Bedore uses her enthusiasm for
all genres of popular fiction to enhance her teaching at
UConn-Avery Point, where she has been an Assistant Professor
of English and Coordinator of the Writing Program since
Dr. Bedore was the first member of her family
to attend college. She completed both a B.A. in English and a B.Ed.
specializing in English and French at Queen's University
in Ontario, followed by an M.A. in English at Simon Fraser
University in British Columbia.
For her PhD, she headed
to the U.S. to study American Literature at the University
of Rochester in upstate New York. Within a few days of
her arrival at Rochester, she discovered a cache of 10,000 "dime
novels" in the University library's rare books room.
As she perused the rows of sensationally written tales
in their garish bindings, she realized she had found the
subject for her dissertation. Inspired by Ed McBain and
the dime novels, she focused her doctoral research on representations
of gender in the popular fiction of the 19th and 20th centuries.
English Initiatives at Avery Point
Since popular fiction
is "what people read," Dr.
Bedore believes such popular literary genres as detective,
horror, and science fiction can be used as valuable tools
for teaching critical reading methods to students. Her
study of popular fiction has energized the English Department
at Avery Point, where she attracts students with courses
such as American Detective Fiction and a seminar on the
works of Stephen King, in addition to courses in both Canadian
and British Lit.
"English is alive and well at Avery
Point," she declares. As evidence of the department's
vitality, she points to the growing number of students
on campus who are majoring in English, a new English minor
that can be completed at Avery Point, and the intersection
of English with the four-year American Studies and Maritime
Studies programs, which has led students from other majors
to take more English classes.
Under Bedore's guidance,
a Writing Fellows program has been successfully piloted
at Avery Point and is now being implemented at the Storrs
campus. This program allows advanced students to serve
as peer tutors and gain work experience in English under
the direction of the English faculty and the Academic Center.
Bedore is currently engaged in researching how libraries,
writing centers, and English classes can be coordinated
to better teach writing and research methods to undergraduates.
Dr. Pam Bedore enjoys the sense of community she finds
at Avery Point (as well as the spectacular views), and
she is excited to be at the forefront of teaching and learning
initiatives for the University of Connecticut as part of
Avery Point's forward-thinking English department.
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