Mary Foltz

Associate Professor

Mary Catherine Foltz teaches in the English Department, American Studies program, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Lehigh University. She is a scholar of contemporary U.S. literature with a particular focus on fictional representations of environmental crises and LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction (click here for her faculty webpage).

Foltz currently serves as the Co-Director of the South Side Initiative. In this role, she continues to support SSI’s long-term focus on Public Humanities and to expand it through developing an online website ( to celebrate the arts and culture of the South Side. Additionally, she has been active in sustaining SSI’s commitment to fostering democratic discussion of civic governance and life; for example, in the past year she worked to create vibrant public conversations about a pedestrian bridge across the Lehigh river with members of the Sierra Club and about an ethics ordinance for Bethlehem with leaders of the League of Women Voters.

Foltz recently completed a book manuscript that addresses how a number of contemporary authors address rampant pollution in the U.S. and beyond through satirical renderings of mismanagement in waste disposal. Prior to moving to Bethlehem, Foltz earned her doctorate in English from SUNY Buffalo (2009) and her bachelor's degree in Women’s Studies and Theology from Georgetown University (2000).