Laura Kasson Fiss



Download CV

  • Associate Teaching Professor, Humanities
  • Assistant Director of the Honors Pathway Program
  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • 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? 

Victorian Humor

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 comic operas to children’s literature and beyond, and her current book project, Clubs for the Unclubbable: Humor 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.

Higher Education

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 currently teaches Pavlis Seminar II, in which students scope their Honors Projects and write about themselves for different audiences. She has taught a variety of writing, literature and other humanities courses at MTU and several other colleges and universities.


  • Victorian literature
  • Gender studies
  • History of the book
  • Children’s literature
  • Music and performance history 
  • Humor
  • Emotion/affect studies
  • Qualitative educational research
  • Curriculum Development