Lydia E. Ferguson is a PhD student in the Auburn University English Department, researching 19th-Century American Literature and interdisciplinary American Studies, and teaching composition and American literature. She earned her BA in English from Ball State University, and her MA in Literature from Clemson University. Her primary research focuses on mid-to-late 19th-century realism and regional performances of cultural identity. Pedagogically, she is an avid proponent of civic-engagement collaborations and client-based service-learning projects. Currently, she is collaborating on a virtual humanities database called the Virtual Education Project (VEP).