Elizabeth Taylor Senior Lecturer in English

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) S. Taylor received her B.A. in American Studies at Smith College, earned her PhD in American Literature from Brown, then taught at Harvard for five years before returning to Brown in 1994. She teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program in the Department of English at Brown. She teaches creative nonfiction -- personal and academic essay, literary journalism, historical narrative, and memoir. She has published flash nonfiction, essays about writing and the teaching of nonfiction, and about the Vietnam War era. Her most recent book is The Plain Language of Love and Loss: A Quaker Memoir. She has a particular interest in mentoring students interested in all forms of nonfiction writing.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

Selected Works:

“A Woman’s Education: So, This is the Way it Works,” Bluestockings Magazine

"The Ladder Tree," River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction 

“When Words Stop,” Brevity Magazine

The Plain Language of Love and Loss: A Quaker Memoir

“Crossing the Line: Finding Butch.” War, Literature, and the Arts 

“Quaker in Vietnam: Rick Thompson, 1949-1973,”  Pendle Hill Pamphlet

“War Story.” Friends & the Vietnam War. Ed. Chuck Fager. 

“Brown University’s Nonfiction Writing Program – a ‘Focus’ within the English Concentration; issue on "The Writing Major." Composition Studies 

“Apprenticing Nonfictionists.” Journal of Teaching Writing 

Review: “The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay, by Carl Klaus.” Biography 

Book Reviews, Providence Sunday Journal, Providence, R. I. and Friends Journal

research overview

Taylor's research areas include the varieties of creative nonfiction - personal and academic essay, literary journalism, historical narrative, and memoir.

research statement

I am interested in the ways nonfiction is written and taught. Through journalism, literary and pedagogical journals, I study the making and instruction of nonfiction narrative. My particular interests follow my own journey as a writer, from journalism to historical narrative to memoir. As a scholar and co-founder of a precedent-setting Nonfiction Writing Program, I am particularly interested in the ways in which academic training in research and written analyses can inform and learn from "real world" writing for general as well as professional audiences.

funded research

DOC Course Development Grants: to develop online writing courses for summer and Wintersession (2015, 2016)

Brown UTRA/Odyssey grant: to create "Radio Nonfiction" course with undergraduate student who became TA for the course, 2002

Brown UTRA grant: for student to create Finding Aids for Brown and RI Historical Archives for new course,"Narrating History," 2007
2009: Brown Research Grant to assess impact of memoir; responses to publishing of The Plain Language of Love and Loss: A Quaker Memoir; sources and subjects revisited on both coasts
2012-13: Brown UTRA to Digitize the Brown Vietnam Veterans Archive