"I grew up in an era of heightened consciousness about race relations," says Griffiths about the late '60s and '70s. "People were asking complex, powerful questions that addressed accountability to our history and accessed stories that had previously been left on the cultural margins or erased from the page, so to speak."
Her book studies how female African American writers and playwrights have transformed their memories of traumatic experiences from racism into creative work. It joins a growing field of research on traumatic stress studies ranging from women who have suffered through domestic abuse to the intergenerational aspects of trauma stemming from the Holocaust.
Prior to NYIT, Griffiths worked at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Leadership Development Center in New London, Conn., where she developed a professional writing program for its Officer Candidate School and taught English classes in the undergraduate academy.
She is currently writing a second book about the role of children in the last quarter of the 20th century, including the children's rights movement.
"During this period, the nature of childhood changed radically, and I want to look at how these changes influenced the creation of child characters within literary texts," Griffiths says.
If there's one thing that keeps Griffiths going, it's introducing new literature to NYIT students.
"I teach for those very honest moments in class when students cannot wait to share their thoughts on the material and listen very carefully to each other's ideas," she says.