Jan Goggans is a founding faculty member of UC Merced. She received her doctoral degree in English from the University of California Davis and came on as an assistant professor of English in 2005. In that role, she has taught and researched three main areas, all of which fall under the broad heading of material culture: California literature and culture,, Working class literature and culture, and Fashion in literature and culture.
Her first book explored the work California of photographer Dorothea Lange and labor economist Paul Taylor. After that publication, she taught classes and published articles and book chapters on fiction of the Great depression as well as Working Class fiction.
Most recently, she has turned to fashion, or as she claims in her recent book, fashion IN fiction and fiction AS fashion. In that book, Make It Work: 20th Century American Fiction and Fashion, and in the class she teaches on that subject, she looks closely at fiction’s use of representation to establish and perform identity.