Maryellen Keefe

Maryellen Keefe

Born in Greenwich Village, I moved to the Bronx in time to attend elementary school at St. Angela Merici School.  I entered the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula on a full academic scholarship, graduated with honors, and chose to attend the College of New Rochelle.  ( I am chair of my next class reunion).  I majored in English with minors in philosophy and theology.

I entered the teaching profession as an Ursuline nun and spent my first three years at Blessed Sacrament in New Rochelle and later taught at St. Angela's, Mt. St. Ursula, and Ursuline Academies in Bethesda, MD, Wilmington, DE, and Springfield MA.

A sabbatical in Rome, followed by travel through Europe and the Middle East, led me to branch out to non-Ursuline schools like St. Gabriel's in New Rochelle, Preston here in Throgs Neck, Iona Prep and Iona College.  I then decided to obtain a doctorate and chose the University of Delaware for its excellent English Department and library + proximity to my family.  I am glad that my career has taken me to Maritime where I enjoy working with my students and colleagues.  And, yes, I am still a Sister! 

  • Ph. D. in English, May 2003, University of Delaware

  • M.A. in English 1969, Fordham University

  • B.A. in English, College of New Rochelle


My research interests include women's lterature, modern American literature, multi-cultural literature, and Irish literature and drama.  I spent several summers on NEH fellowships at Cornell Universit; Regents College, London, England; Colgate University; Hollins College, VA; and University College, Galway, Ireland.  My favorite writers are James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Edith Wharton.  I am currently involved in getting the work of Sally Benson reprinted in a new collection to be followed by a critical biography of Benson.