Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Lise Funderburg

Lise Funderburg

Office Hours

Rm. 401 CPCW., 3808 Walnut St.

By appointment only.

Lise Funderburg is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She studied at Reed College and the Columbia University School of Journalism, and her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Salon, The Nation, National Geographic, Garden Design, Cleaver, The Chattahooochee Review, and Prevention.

Her latest book is the bestselling social history/memoir, Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home (Free Press, 2008). Pig Candy could fit into several genres—including narrative nonfiction, memoir, travelogue, and biography—but essentially, it’s a book about life, death, and barbecue. Pig Candy was selected as the Freshman Summer Read for Drexel University in 2012. Funderburg’s first book was a prescient oral history called Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity (Morrow, 1994): it was the first book to explore the lives of adult children of black-white unions. Black, White, Other has become a core text in the study of American multiracial identity, and it is used in college courses around the world. Its first chapter was anthologized in Identity Matters: Rhetorics of Difference. In the New York Times review of Black, White, Other, writer Kyoko Mori said that the book “is an example of how we can talk about race with feeling, humor, and dignity.” Funderburg's work appears in numerous anthologies, including Best African American Essays 2010; Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from O, The Oprah Magazine; These Hands I Know: African American Writers on Family; 101 Damnations: the Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells; 21st Century Dog: A Visionary Compendium; and The American Civil Rights Movement: Readings & Interpretations.

Funderburg has received support from The Open Society Institute, The James Thurber House, the Dick Goldensohn Fund for Journalists and the Blue Mountain Center. Funderburg has twice been the writer-in-residence at The Thurber House in Columbus Ohio, during which period she taught courses at The Ohio State University and conducted community workshops with adult literacy classes and seniors writing groups. She has been awarded residencies at The Blue Mountain Colony, The MacDowell Colony, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Awards include a Window of Opportunity Grant from The Leeway Foundation and a 2003 Nonfiction Literature Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In addition to teaching Creative Nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania, Funderburg also teaches in the Rutgers University-Camden MFA Program. For more information, see


Courses Taught

spring 2020

fall 2019

spring 2019

spring 2018

ENGL 135.301 Creative Nonfiction  

spring 2017

ENGL 145.301 Advanced Nonfiction Writing  

spring 2016

ENGL 145.301 Advanced Nonfiction Writing  

spring 2015

ENGL 145.302 Advanced Nonfiction Writing  

spring 2014

ENGL 145.302 Advanced Nonfiction Writing  

spring 2013

fall 2011

fall 2010

fall 2009

fall 2008

ENGL 145.302 Advanced Nonfiction Writing  

fall 2007

fall 2006

spring 2006

fall 2005

fall 2004

fall 2003