Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham

Photo of Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham
Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham
Director of the School of Communication
(269) 387-3133
(269) 387-3990
Room 309 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5318
Mailing address: 
School of Communication
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5318 USA

Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham is an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University and is currently serving as the Director of the School of Communication. She joined the faculty in 2005 after receiving her Ph.D. in 18th century literature from West Virginia University.

Klekar-Cunningham has provided leadership in her discipline and at WMU. Klekar-Cunningham served as editor of Comparative Drama (2005-12), scheduling coordinator for the English department (2011-14), chair of the English department Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee (2016-18), and co-chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Women’s Caucus Steering Committee (2014-16). From 2014-19 she was chief negotiator for the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors and led the faculty in successful contraction negotiations in 2014 and 2017.

In her scholarship Dr. Klekar-Cunningham was co-editor of The Culture of the Gift in Eighteenth-Century England (Palgrave, 2009) and is currently working on two projects: a book that examines literary representations of absence in the material world of 18th century England and a co-authored book on gift exchange and obligation in the letters of Ignatius Sancho. Her work has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals, including Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Theory and Interpretation, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, and The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Innovative Course Design Award (2005), the International Education Faculty Development Grant from the Haenicke Institute for Global Education (2006), the Richard H. Popkin Research Fellowship (2007), and the Paula Backscheider Archival Fellowship (2009).