Dr. Joann Furlow Allen is a Professor of English in the College of Arts and Cultural
Studies; English and Modern Language Department. She attended the University of Oklahoma
for her B.A. in English and then went to the University of Tulsa for her M.A. in Modern
Letters. She worked as a legal assistant and served as executive director of a crime-prevention
agency. She worked as an adjunct at Tulsa Community College and Rogers State University
and also spent several years teaching English as a Second Language in the English
Institute of International Students at the University of Tulsa. As she worked as a
composition and literature teacher, she decided to go back to college to acquire her
Ph.D. She studied for and received her doctorate from the University of Tulsa in English
Literature, specializing in Modern and Contemporary American Literature, with an emphasis
in African-American and Latin-American Women's literature. She has since expanded
her area of scholarship to multiple areas of Multi-Cultural American literature. After
receiving her doctorate, she spent a year as a full-time lecturer at Oklahoma State
University in Stillwater. There she taught writing and literature and got to meet,
in person, the subject of her dissertation: Sandra Cisneros.
Dr. Allen joined the faculty at ORU in the fall of 2005. She has taught all levels
of composition, as well as American Literature, Law in Literature, a genre class in
creative writing of the short story and Multi-Cultural American Literature. In addition,
she directs the Senior Paper for all English, English Education and Writing majors.
She especially enjoys working closely with students in her role as sponsor for the
English club, and she often hosts both faculty and students in her home. She also
serves as a member of the Multi-Ethnic and Intercultural Relations Committee and has
had three offices in the College of Arts and Cultural Studies, including that of President.
She is especially proud of the annual Walden Weekend Writers' Retreat, now in its
seventh year, the idea of which she developed. She continues to be the sponsor of
She has presented in numerous national and international conferences and has lectured
in institutes on topics of women of color and their literature as well as on other
topics on cultural diversity. She has published seven journal articles, two book chapters
and several creative pieces. In 2016 she was named Outstanding Scholar in her department.
Dr. Allen always strives to impart to her students that God gifts everyone, whether
or not one chooses to use that gift for the glory of God. Therefore, they should learn
from and not fear those who have beliefs that differ from their own. They must be
true to their own faith and filter everything through their Christian Worldview.