For syllabi and sample assignments contact lpennywa@purdue.edu.

Courses Taught

  • Great American Books, Purdue University, Instructor of Record (Fall 2015)
  • Postcolonial London and the UK, Purdue University, study abroad Teaching Assistant (Summer 2015)
  • The Global City, Purdue University, study abroad Teaching Assistant (Summer 2015)
  • Introductory Composition through Popular Culture, Purdue University, Instructor of Record (Fall 2013 and Spring 2014)
  • Introductory Composition: Documenting Realities, Purdue University, Instructor of Record (Fall 2012 and Spring 2013)

Teaching Interests

  • Survey of American Literature from 1865 to Present
  • Survey of Early American Literature
  • Introduction to Fiction
  • The American Novel
  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • First-Year Composition
  • American Postmodern Fiction
  • Native American Literature
  • African American Literature
  • Gender and Literature
  • Working-Class Literature
  • Speculative Fiction
  • US Detective Literature


“I think my instructor is literally amazing, she does such a good job of really allowing the students to express themselves freely and enjoy the material being taught. This is the best class in the world and I can say that Professor Pennywark is seriously an extraordinary teacher and what I have learned in this class will stick with me forever.”

“I think Leah did really well with this course. She was always very knowledgable and kind about everybody expressing ideas and encouraged us to challenge ourselves. I really enjoyed learning from her. I didn’t love all the readings we did, but I think that can be expected. Leah did a really good job of helping us see the benefit in what we didn’t enjoy and encouraged us to learn more about the readings we did like. Overall, this course was really well organized and I really enjoyed it.”

“Leah is a very enthusiastic instructor. The choice of material was extremely interesting; we read both classics like The Great Gatsby, and newer, less known books like Leadfeather. It had been a beneficial semester. Leah also invited students to look closely at the material we were reading, and to dig deep into the text. I feel more prepared to tackle difficult literature because of this class.”

“Leah is an excellent instructor. The material was interesting and the assignments were manageable.”

“This instructor asks questions that cause me to think deeper about the text.”

“I loved this class. It was easily my favorite English class I’ve taken in college because of the diversity of the material that managed to always be relatable to a central idea that our course was based on. The class was a good pace that was conducive for learning and discussion.”