Laura Kasson Fiss
- Associate Teaching Professor, Pavlis Honors College
- Affiliated Associate Teaching Professor, Humanities
- Assistant Director, Pavlis Honors Program
- PhD in English, Indiana University
- MA in Text and Book, University of Birmingham (UK)
- AB in English and Music, Vassar College
Dr. Laura Kasson Fiss has an interdisciplinary background in music, literary studies and history of the book. She currently pursues research in both nineteenth-century media and current higher education. One question ties together these strands of research: How can we make exclusive spaces more inclusive?
Asking not only "why is this funny" but also "what do you need to know to get this joke," Fiss provides a window into Victorian media consumption - she even studies the window as a metaphor for the page. Her articles address Victorian humor from Charles Dickens to Lewis Carroll and beyond. Her first book, The Idler's Club: Humour and Mass Readership from Jerome K. Jerome to P.G. Wodehouse, explores the club as a metaphor for literary sociability in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British humor.
Victorian comic song is the focus of Fiss’s second book project, which picks up on her undergraduate research and first publication on Gilbert and Sullivan. This project looks at three generations of men named George Grossmith and through them the role of the comic man on stage, in the drawing room, and in print.
In several collaborative groups, Fiss studies curriculum design and student success. Much of her work centers on the Pavlis Honors College and its project to re-define honors in terms of self-authorship. She also studies communication and reflection in engineering education.
Dr. Fiss is lead instructor for Pavlis Seminar II, “Tell Your Story,” and teaches a variety of writing, literature, and other humanities courses for the Department of Humanities, where she is on the graduate faculty.
- Victorian literature
- Gender studies
- History of the book
- Children’s literature
- Music and performance history
- Emotion/affect studies
- Qualitative educational research
- Curriculum Development
- Laura Kasson Fiss, The Idler’s Club: Humour and Mass Readership from Jerome K. Jerome to P. G. Wodehouse. Edinburgh University Press, 2023.
- Laura Kasson Fiss and Darnishia Slade-Morris, “Reflecting on Culture in an Immersion Experience: How to Prepare Students for the Unexpected,” 2022 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, June 2022. https://peer.asee.org/41399
- Laura Kasson Fiss, John Irwin, and Yin-Yin (Sarah) Tan, “S-STEM Student Reflections and IDP Process,” 2021 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 2021. https://peer.asee.org/37693
Lorelle A. Meadows, Maura Hollister, Mary Raber, and Laura Kasson Fiss, “GPA as a Product, Not a Measure, of Success,” in The Demonstrable Value of Honors Education: New Research Evidence, ed. Andrew Cognard-Black, National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series, 2019, pp. 115-149.
- Andrew Fiss and Laura Kasson Fiss, “Laughing Out of Math Class: The Vassar Mathematikado and Nineteenth-Century Women’s Education.” Configurations, 27, no. 3, 2019, pp. 301-329.
- Lorelle A. Meadows, Mary Raber, and Laura Kasson Fiss, “Innovation and Inclusion—Applying design thinking and lean startup in the honors context,” Excellence, Innovation and Ingenuity in Honors Education, ed. Graeme Harper (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019) 79-97.
- Laura Kasson Fiss, Lorelle A. Meadows, Mary Raber, Kari B. Henquinet, and Richard Berkey, “An Educational Framework to Promote Self-Authorship in Engineering Undergraduates,” Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida, June 2019. https://peer.asee.org/32058
- Michelle E. Jarvie-Eggart, Laura Kasson Fiss, and Karla Saari Kitalong. "Exploring the Relationship Between Communication Skills and Performance in First-Year Engineering," Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida, June 2019. https://peer.asee.org/32815
- Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Laura Kasson Fiss, and Karla Saari Kitalong, “Comparing First
Year Engineering Students’ Math and Verbal ACT scores and Performance in Introductory
Engineering and Composition Courses,” Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro,
New Jersey, July 2018. https://peer.asee.org/31389
- Laura Kasson Fiss, “Out With It, as the Subeditor Said to the Novel: Wellerisms and the Humor of Excerption.” Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 40, no. 1, 2017, pp. 228-37.
- Laura Kasson Fiss, “The Idler’s Club: Humor and Sociability in the Age of New Journalism.” Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 49, no. 3, 2016, pp. 415-30
- Laura Kasson Fiss, “Pushing at the Boundaries of the Book: Humor, Mediation and Distance
in Carroll, Thackeray, and Stevenson.”The Lion and the Unicorn 38, no. 3, 2014 pp. 258-278.
- Laura Kasson Fiss, “‘This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter’: Patter songs
and the word-music relationship.” The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert and Sullivan. Ed. David Eden and Meinhard Saremba. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. 98-108.
- Review of Music & the British Military in the Long Nineteenth Century, by Trevor Herbert and Helen Barlow; Music and Academia in Victorian Britain, by Rosemary Golding; and Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain, edited by Paul Rodmell. Victorian Studies, vol. 58, no. 2, 2016, pp. 356-59.
- PI, “Essential Education at Michigan Tech” Cornerstone Learning for Living Planning Grant from the Teagle Foundation and NEH. PIs: Laura Kasson Fiss, Marika Seigel, and Mary Raber. Award Amount: $25,000. 2022-23
- Co-PI, “Engineering Technology Scholars – IMProving REtention and Student Success (ETS-IMPRESS)” from NSF S-STEM. PI: John Irwin. Award amount: $999,483. 2017-2022.
Senior Personnel, “CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program at Michigan Tech” from NSF CyberCorps. Award Amount: $3,738,793. PI: Yu Cai. 2021-2026