Dr. Aileen Stephens Walls, 62, professor of English and chairman of the American Studies Committee at George Mason University in Fairfax, died of cancer Thursday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital in Arlington.
Dr. Walls joined the English faculty at George Mason in 1966 and was named full professor in about 1976. She helped organize the English Department's American Studies program in the early 1970s and was named its chairman. During her years at the university she taught English and American literature and American Studies.
She was a member of the National American Studies Faculty, the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association and the Melville Society for 18th Century Studies.
A native of Texas, Dr. Walls was a graduate of Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Tex. She earned a master's degree at the University of Illinois. She also studied at the University of Southern California's American Studies Institute and the University of Birmingham in England.
In the 1950s, she was a guest lecturer at the University of Tokyo and in the 1960s she was a guest lecturer at the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru.
She taught in public elementary schools in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, and was English instructor at the University of Arkansas before moving to the Washington area in 1960. She lived in Arlington.
Survivors include her husband, retired Navy Capt. W.A. Walls of Arlington; two daughters, Betty W. Dean of Woodbridge and Jeanie W. Henry of Falls Church; a sister, Jean McKinley of Houston, and a brother, Jack Stephens of Brownwood.