|Alma mater||Bryn Mawr College|
Josephine Donovan (born 1941) is an American scholar of comparative literature who is a professor emerita of English in the Department of English at the University of Maine, Orono. Her research and expertise has covered feminist theory, feminist criticism, animal ethics, and both early modern and American (particularly 19th century) with a special focus on American writer Sarah Orne Jewett and the local colorists. She recently extended her study of local color literature to the European tradition. Along with Marti Kheel, Carol J. Adams, and others, Donovan introduced ecofeminist care theory, rooted in cultural feminism, to the field of animal ethics. Her published corpus includes ten books, five edited books, over fifty articles, and seven short stories.
Donovan was born in Manila in the Philippines in 1941, and was, with her mother, evacuated shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her father, a captain in the US Army, remained; in 1942, he was captured by the Japanese. Donovan subsequently edited and published his memoirs. Majoring in history, she studied at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, graduating, cum laude, in 1962. Subsequently, she worked in journalism, as a clerk on the copy desks at The Washington Post and Time and as a reporter for a small New York newspaper. Concurrent with her work, she studied creative writing at Columbia University. She went on to study at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, reading for an MA (graduating 1967) and a PhD (graduating 1971), both in comparative literature. She subsequently held positions at the University of Kentucky (Honors Program), the University of New Hampshire (as the first coordinator of the Women's Studies Program), and visiting professor positions at George Washington University and the University of Tulsa.), as well as working as a copy editor for G. K. Hall & Co. She took early retirement from her position of professor of English at the University of Maine to allow more time for both research and writing, and is currently a professor emerita.