Patricia McEachern, Ph.D.
Director, Forum on Animal Rights
Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights
Professor of French
Patricia McEachern received her doctorate in French Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master's Degree from Florida State University. In 1990, she earned a graduate exchange position with the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d'Ulm in Paris, where she studied with French philosopher Jacques Derrida. She has been teaching at Drury University since 1996.
Dr. McEachern also founded and serves as Director of the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights. She nominated Drury alumnus Bob Barker for his Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and worked with him to establish Drury's new course on Animal Ethics. The course, which is entirely funded by the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights, provides for speakers and a variety of other initiatives related to the study of animal rights. In the fall of 2011, Dr. McEachern and her colleagues established a one-of-a-kind minor in Animal Studies.
Dr. McEachern has published two books: A Holy Life: The Writings of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and Deprivation and Power: The Emergence of Anorexia Nervosa in Nineteenth-Century French Literature. She is particularly interested in nineteenth-century French literature, Mariology and hagiography. Her current research will lead to the publication of a book about Saint Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal, as well as articles about the Animal Rights debate. In addition to teaching all levels of undergraduate French, and a course on Animals and Literature, she has taught an Honors Course on Free Will vs. Determinism and she is responsible for the team-taught Animal Ethics course.
Dr. McEachern has served as Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, Academic Affairs Committee and Honorary Degree Committee. She has been interviewed by television, radio and print media about her scholarly work with regard to Animal Studies. She has also been interviewed many times on radio and in the press for her book, A Holy Life: The Writings of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, and she has been invited to speak at various venues in connection with the book.
On a personal note, Dr. McEachern absolutely loves taking ballet and ballroom classes and playing the harp, all of which she began only in recent years. Carpe diem: It is never too late. Although ballet is her true passion, she simply cannot resist the drama of the Tango and the Rumba. Teaching is both a vocation and a passion for her: She began teaching her dolls in the first grade. She needs art, good literature, dance, and music (ranging from George Jones to Bizet’s Au Fond du Temple Saint). Good human beings and pretty much all animals are dear to her, and she is grateful for them. She wishes that she were perfect so that she would never harm anyone (except in self-defense). Alas! She will never be perfect, so if she must ask for your forgiveness one day, she hopes you can forgive. Oh, yes! She admits to a weakness for pretty clothes… for their aesthetic value, naturally.
B.A., University of Central Florida, 1981;
M.A., Florida State University, 1985;
Ph.D., University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 1995.
Drury University faculty member since 1996
Professor since 2008