Dr. Elizabeth Cummins


Research Interests: science fiction, particularly the work of Ursula K. Le Guin and Judith Merril, literature by women and women in academia, particularly science and engineering.

Dr. Cummins graduated with an A.A. from Cottey College in 1958, a B. A. in English from the University of South Dakota in 1960, an M.A. in English from the same school in 1962, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985.

 She taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia before joining the faculty at Missouri S&T (formerly called UMR) in 1967. Her UMR employment included nine years as department chair (1990-1999). She was the first woman in the history of the school to become a department chair. In that same vein, for her support of women students and her active research program, she received UMR's first Woman of the Year award in 1997.

Dr. Cummins has published the following books:

  • Judith Merril: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography. Cushing Library, Texas A & M:the Center for the Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2007. 
  • Understanding Ursula K. Le Guin. Rev. ed. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1993, 263 pp.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983, 244 pp.

She has also published many articles, such as:

  • "Ursula K. Le Guin." In Supernatural Fiction Writers. Ed. Richard Bleiler. New York: Scribner's, 2003.  613-31. [Invited article]
  • "The Human Need to Forgive: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Four Ways to Forgiveness." Peace Review 14 (Sept. 2002):  349-55.
  • "Ursula K. Le Guin." In The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth Century America Short Story. Ed. Blache H. Gelfant. Columbia UP, 2001.  329-33. [Invited article]
  • "Pilgrim Award Presentation to Darko Suvin" and "Pilgrim Award Presentation to Marshall B. Tymn." In Pilgrims and Pioneers: The History and Speeches of the SFRA Award Winners. Ed. Hal W. Hall &  Daryl F. Mallett. Tempe, AZ:  SFRA, 2001. 67-72; 173-79.  [Invited articles]
  • "If I knew Then What I Know Now: A Portable Mentor for Women Beginning Professional Careers in Science and Engineering." Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 5 (1999): 29-52. Co-authored with Riordan, Manning, Daniel, Murray, and Thompson.
  • "A Hopeful Art or An Artful Hope? Darko Suvin's Aesthetics for Science Fiction." Essays in Arts and Sciences, 9 (August 1980), 235-46.

Before retiring, she taught American and British literature surveys, genre courses (science fiction, British novel), and various writing courses (exposition, research, technical).

After retiring she continued to do reasearch in New Harmony and was invited to give a lecturer on her work: "The Adventure of Making History: The Life and Writings of Caroline Dale Owen Parke Snedeker," Workingmen's Institute, New Harmony, Indiana, March 16, 2010.

She served as the first female President of the Miner Retirees Assoc., 2012-14, and continues to represent  the organization on the UM retirees Leadership Assoc. which meets three times a year in Columbia.