Shanee Stepakoff


Shanee Stepakoff earned a Bachelor’s in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Maine and an M.F.A. in creative writing from The New School. She also holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and in 2019 received the National Association for Poetry Therapy’s Outstanding Educator award. Prior to discovering her vocation as a late-blooming literary scholar, she was the psychologist for the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone (2005-2007) and a psychologist/trainer for CVT (an NGO that focuses on survivors of politically motivated torture), first in Guinea and later in Jordan. Shanee’s essay ‘Hiding in Plain Sight: Judaeophobia in Swift’s Portrayal of the Yahoos in Gulliver’s Travels’, was published in Swift Studies in 2020. Her first book, a collection of poems based on events from the Sierra Leone Civil War, is due out from Bucknell University Press in July 2021. Shanee won Reed Magazine’s 2017 Creative Nonfiction Award and was the third-place winner of The Eckleburg Review’s 2014 Gertrude Stein Award. She has written academic articles for a variety of journals, including The Drama Review, Journal of Human Rights Practice, and The International Journal of Transitional Justice, and has contributed chapters to eight edited books. Shanee has presented widely at professional conferences, including the annual “literature and psychology” conferences hosted by PsyArt Foundation (2016-2019). Shanee’s primary aim within literary studies is to generate innovative interpretations of established novels, drawing on non-mainstream psychoanalytic frameworks such as Jungian/archetypal, Kleinian, and trauma theories as well as Norm Holland’s brand of reader-response criticism.


Literary Realism, British Modernism, Studies of the Novel