Claire Schmidt Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,
English Languages and Humanities Division
(660) 831-4223
Office: Ferguson 214

Originally from rural southern Wisconsin, Claire Schmidt joined Missouri Valley College in 2013. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Her dissertation, "If You Don't Laugh You'll Cry: The Occupational Humor of White American Prison Workers and Social Workers," draws on ten years of ethnographic fieldwork to compare the ways that prison workers and social workers use humor to navigate institutional complexity and achieve long-term occupational success. Schmidt's M.A. thesis explores the form and function of the legend of the Seven Sleepers in Anglo Saxon and Middle English literature and oral tradition.

At Missouri Valley College Schmidt teaches World Literatures, Film Criticism and American Culture, Composition, Professional Writing, and Creative Writing; Schmidt's previous teaching experience includes courses in American Folklore, Ethnographic Fieldwork, British Literature, Writing About Literature, Mystery Fiction, Postcolonial London, Folklore and Race, and Humorous British Literature.

Schmidt's scholarly interests include occupational humor, practical jokes, critical race studies, Anglo-Saxon hagiography and oral tradition, medieval foodways and humor, regional folk humor, public folklore, postcolonial theory, and the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Schmidt's scholarly work is published in Western Folklore (2014), Reading Mystery Science Theater 3000: Critical Approaches (2013), Digest: a Journal of Foodways and Culture (2012), and Oral Tradition (2011).