Denise Tanyol received her B.A. from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University and her M.A. from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania, “The Inconstant Machine: Photography and American Literature,” concerns American writers’ often conflicted encounters with the camera, in particular their responses to changes in technology and practice. She has published papers on Melville, Joyce, and Faulkner and is currently writing on 1930s documentary and the 1940s photo-texts of the novelist and photographer Wright Morris (1910-1998).
Her teaching and research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; American social documentary photography; the impact of photography on American writing; and creative writing. Her recent teaching includes modern American literature and literature of the American South. She is currently (as of 2011) teaching a new creative writing class, "Making Photo-texts," in which students make hybrid works of fiction and creative nonfiction that incorporate photographs.