University of Maine at Augusta

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Hentges, Sarah

Sarah Hentges
Associate Professor of American Studies

Office: 215 Belfast Hall, Bangor Campus
Phone: (207) 262-7762
Office Hours:

Sarah Hentges



B.A., Humboldt State University, 1997
M.A., Oregon State University, 2000
Ph.D., Washington State University, 2006


After living and teaching in the Northwest United States for 10 years, Sarah Hentges joined the UMA faculty in Spring of 2009 as a  Libra fellow and helped to design a new minor in American studies (AME). After working at UMA for several more years, Sarah earned tenure and promotion in 2015, becoming an Associate Professor of American Studies. She holds several positions at UMA including the chair of Women Invigorating Curriculum and Creating Diversity (WICCD), the coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies and chair of the INT Council, and the Interim Honors Program Director.

Sarah earned her PhD in American Studies from Washington State University with an emphasis in Comparative Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies and her M.A. in English from Oregon State University with an emphasis in Literature and Culture and a minor in Sociology. She also holds her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Humboldt State University with an emphasis in Literature, Gender, and American Culture and a minor in dramatic writing.

In addition to her academic career, Sarah is also a fitness instructor, teaching a variety of fitness classes including yoga and cardio dance and workshops for instructors and community members. In her teaching and research she makes connections between academia and fitness. She includes belly dancing as a topic in her intro to women’s studies classes and has offered belly dancing workshops for students and community members as well as a special feminist fitness class for Women’s History Month—Girls’ Night Out: Pleasure, Power, and Empowerment. She has volunteered her fitness services at a martial arts kids camp, a Caring Connections retreat, and other events.

In her spare time she likes to work (see above), sleep, feed her pop culture and young adult dystopia fiction addictions, and hike with her partner and dog. She also likes to create vegan meals and especially desserts.

Sarah teaches courses in American studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and English. Her teaching includes a variety of introductory courses in these fields as well as a variety of topics courses like: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in American Culture; Hip Hop: Art Culture and Politics; American Girls: Identity, Culture, and Empowerment; American Fitness: Culture, Community, and Transformation; Girls on Fire: Gender, Culture, and Justice in YA Dystopia; and Cultural Criticism and Theory: The Arts of Social Change. She also teaches courses in American literature and literary theory and criticism.

Sarah’s classes are interdisciplinary and include a variety of approaches to learning. She works to make the course assignments—papers and projects—relevant to each student’s interests. Classes include engaging readings, examples from popular culture (music, film, TV, internet), critical writing assignments, occasional “lectures,” creative options, and small and large-group discussion. Students are encouraged to actively participate in class in a variety of ways and to apply their knowledge in and out of class.

Whenever possible Sarah connects her classes to public events in order to encourage students to share their knowledge and talents with students, faculty, staff, and the larger community. For instance, students in her Maya Angelou class, Spring 2010, organized workshops, visited classrooms, created books, and volunteered in their local communities. Students in this class and Intro to American studies, American Literature since 1900, and Intro to Women’s Studies created projects for events like “Soup & Substance,” an annual event for Women’s History Month at UMA. Sarah encourages UMA students to become more involved in building a community of students and collaborates with students on a variety of projects.

While she was in school for her Ph.D. in American Studies, Sarah was publishing her first book entitled Pictures of Girlhood: Modern Female Adolescence on Film, from which she coined the phrase “Girls’ Film,” and has had success in giving lectures on that very subject. Sarah’s research and published work range a variety of topics from the TV show Survivor to “diversity” in Octavia Butler’s novels to the power of Hip Hop as a cultural movement to the problems of “radical whiteness” to the importance of context in the teaching of literature to pop culture reviews at Her second book, Women and Fitness in American Culture, was published in 2014. She also maintains a blog and website that acts as a resource for her work–

To coincide with the Fall 2015 Academic theme of Interdisciplinarity, Sarah wrote a book that she self-published (also available free online), Universal Interdisciplinarity: A Handbook for Academia and Beyond. This handbook is meant for an interested student, and specifically for UMA’s INT majors.

University of Maine at Augusta