Professor of English

Jill Colvin Jones is a Professor of English at Rollins College where she teaches courses that include American Literature, popular culture, African American Literature, and the American gothic as well as courses on Mean Girls and Breaking Bad.

Jones has published articles and chapters on mystery novels, con women, Zora Neale Hurston, Harriet E. Wilson, Toni Morrison, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, James Weldon Johnson, Connie May Fowler, Louisa May Alcott, and Jerry Springer and the Puritans. She also writes occasional op-eds and has appeared on podcasts and local television stations to discuss Hurston, Hemingway, hair products and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Areas of expertise and interest include American literature, film, and popular culture, and her presentations range from how women like AOC and Fanny Fern use the media to liberal arts education, from Frankenstein and Get Out! to Barbie, and always America: the promise, the politics, the dream, the Constitution, the literature, the pop culture, the television, the films.


BA, University of New Hampshire
MA, University of New Hampshire
PhD, Tufts University

Jill Jones portrait

Courses Taught

American Literature from the Puritans to the Present

American Immigrants

Breaking Bad and the Great American Novel

Monsters in Literature and Film

Sin and Redemption in American Literature

Mean Girls In Literature and Film

Banned Books in America

Coming of Age in the World Novel


Zora Neale Hurston Senior Seminar

Absalom! Absalom! Junior Colloquy

The American Gothic

American Gothic and Horror in Literature and Film

Quests and Journeys in Lit and Film

The Filthy Rich and the Dirt Poor in Am Lit and Pop Culture

Ten Mind-Blowing Books

Con Men (and Women), Grifters and Hucksters in American Literature

Adaptation: Book to Film

American Women Writers: Alcott to Barbie

Research & Publications

Book Chapters and Peer-Reviewed Publications

“When Outlaws Become In-Laws: Louisa May Alcott and the Lady Grifter.”Women Vigilantes and Outlaws in Popular Media from Reconstruction to the Great Depression: Who Was that Masked Woman?, Editors Gregory Bray and Andrew Ball. (Routledge, NY, forthcoming)

"Zora Neale Hurston’s Florida Beginnings: The Cakewalk, the Jim Crow Car, and Internalized Racism in Color Struck.” Literary Floridas, Editors John King, Danita Berg, Nathan Holic.(McFarland, forthcoming).

“Eatonville, Florida: Mythologizing the First Incorporated Black Town.”Florida’s Golden Age, Editors Maurice O’Sullivan and Bruce Stephenson, (Florida Historical Society Press, 2018).

“Taking the Axe to Babylon: Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Lost’ Caroline Stories, Gender, Place and Power.” (Mississippi Quarterly, Fall, 2016).

“Cracker Redemption: Life, death, and homecoming in The Problem with Murmur Lee.”In Women of Florida Fiction: Essays on 12 Sunshine State Writers, EditorsTammy Powley and April Van Camp, (McFarland Press, 2015).

“Passing for Racist:Cross Creek as a Cracker Coming-of-Age Story” Florida Studies: Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Florida College EnglishAssociation.Editors:Maurice J. O’Sullivan and Paul Reich, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).

Rights and Birthrights:The mis-reading of Jacob and Esau and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.”Florida Studies: Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Florida College EnglishAssociation.Editors: Claudia Slate and Carole Policy, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Jun 2010).

“Hags and Whores: American Sin and Shaming from Salem to Springer.” Journal of American Culture.(June, 2009):146-154.

"'The Eye of a Needle': Morrison's Paradise, Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom, and the American Jeremiad." The Faulkner Journal. (Volume XVII, Number 2. Spring, 2002).

"Cowboy kitsch" in Bad Boys and Bad Girls in the Badlands: Southwest Crime and Fiction,Steven Glassman and Maurice 0' Sullivan, eds. (Popular Press, October, 2001).

Interview with Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Journal of Florida Literature, (2001).

“Carol Hemingway's 'Two Girls': The Other Hemingway in Florida." The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Journal of Florida Literature, (VllI, 1999): 95-100.

"The Disappearing 'I' in Our Nig." Legacy, 13.1 (June 1996): 38-53

"'You Don't Know about Me': The Disenfranchised Narrator in Nineteenth Century United States Fiction." DIA 56.10 (Apr 1996): 3959ADAINo.: DA9605706.

Conference Presentations

“How to Go Viral Wearing Lipstick: Tips on Influencing from AOC to Fanny Fern.” Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, March 2024.

“When Outlaws Become In-Laws: Louisa May Alcott and the Lady Grifter.”Annual Southwest Popular & American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, Feb., 2024.

“Zora Neale Hurston’s Florida Beginnings: the Cakewalk, the Jim Crow Car, and Internalized Racism in Color Struck.” Comparative Drama Conference, Orlando, April 2018.

Chair, “African American Theater,” Comparative Drama Conference, Orlando, April 2018

The Hoochy Koochy and the Jim Crow Car: Zora Neale Hurston’s Color Struck.” PCA/ACA Conference, San Diego, April 2017.

. “Zora Neale Hurston and Her Narrative Magic.” Invited Lecture, UCF Art Gallery, Jan 2016.

2015, Panel Chair and Presenter for Mean and Nasty Girls , “We have Met the Mean Girl and She is Us: Mean Girls, power and the American female coming-of-age text,” Annual Southwest Popular & American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, 2015.

“Teaching Sweat: Pedagogy and Zora Neale Hurston.”Florida Humanities Council Workshop, Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and her Roots. Rollins College, Summer, 2008-2013.

“Why Education is not a TED talk.”Summit on Transforming Learning, Rollins College, 2012.

“Say it Ain’t So, Joe:Redemption in Angels in America,” Annual Southwest Popular & American Culture Conference, 2012.

“Rights and Birthrights: The Mis-reading of the story of Jacob and Esau in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.”Florida College English Association, 2011.

Podcasts, Television, Op-Eds, Radio, Blog

Introduction and Discussion Facilitation at The Enzian Theater, Nosferatu The Vampyre, Oct 16, 2021

“As Thomas Paine wrote, these are truly the times that try men’s souls.” Orlando SentinelJun 3 2020

“Upside to this upside-down world: Appreciating the little things.” Orlando SentinelApril 10, 2020

Introduction and Discussion Facilitation at The Enzian Theater, The Haunting, Oct, 2020

“Zora Neale Hurston,” WUCF September 12, 2018 (OBD).Jon Busdeker, Producer, Brian Kelly, Sound.

“Studying politics: Teach students to think critically.” Orlando Sentinel Sept. 1 2017

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Christianity and the face of the new GOP.”Orlando Sentinel, March 20, 2017

“Every Tongue Got to Confess Podcast” Episode 10.

The Confess Blog: “Hurston and the Community


Chair, Curriculum Committee, 2021

Executive Committee, 2021

Faculty Affairs Committee, 2018

Chair, CEC, Victoria Brown Mid-Course, 2018

Director, Lucy Cross Center for Women and Their Allies, 2015-2016, 2017-2018

Liason, Zora Neale Hurston Festival Academic Conference, Rollins College, 2018

Chair, CEC, Martha Cheng, 2017

Chair, Academic Affairs Committee, 2014-2015

Academic Affairs Committee, 2014-2016

President of the A & S faculty, Rollins College, 2011-2013

Chair, Executive Committee of the A & S Faculty, Rollins College, 2011-2013

Awards & Honors

FYRST Grant, 2024-2025

Rollins International Grant, 2023

Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Award, Rollins College, 2015

Professing Excellence Award, Rollins College, 2015

Cornell Distinguished Teaching Award, Rollins College, 2011