One of the major strengths of the English Department is the number of its distinguished faculty who study, teach, and write on modernism. We have a dedicated and supportive community of professors, instructors, and graduate students who work together. Christina Walter’s book, Optical Impersonality: Science, Images, and Literary Modernism, has chapters on H.D., Mina Loy, T. S. Eliot, and D. H. Lawrence, as well as shorter discussions of Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, and Ezra Pound; her current project, "The Modernist Bite," traces how literary and visual modernism adapts food and digestive sciences to explain the nature of aesthetics, the role of community in modernism, and the cultural function of literary studies. Peter Mallios has published an award-winning book, Our Conrad: Constituting American Modernity and has edited several books by and about Joseph Conrad. Brian Richardson has authored or co-authored four books and over fifty articles that discuss twentieth century fiction and drama, in particular the works of Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett. He is currently completing a book on the fate of misreading by characters in modernist fiction and plans to follow this with a book on Ulysses. He is the past President of the Joseph Conrad Society of America and a member of the editorial board of Conradiana. He also edited and introduced a special issue of Conradiana on Conrad and the Reader.

Several other professors' work centers on or engages with modernism. Zita Nunes, author of Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representation in the Literature of the Americas, writes on the intersections of African American and Afro-Brazilian modernisms. Elizabeth Arnold edited and introduced Mina Loy's novel, Insel; Sheila Jelen is an expert on Hebrew and Yiddish modernism and has written and edited several books in those areas, including Modern Jewish Literatures; and Joshua Weiner has published on several modernist poets. William Cohen is a connoisseur of Oscar Wilde, John Auchard has done considerable work with Henry James and Graham Greene, and Merle Collins writes on and edits modern and contemporary Caribbean and Black British authors. Julius Fleming Jr. is completing a book, "Choreographies of Freedom: Performance and the Modern Civil Rights Movement," which examines the centrality of black literature and performance to the cultural and political landscapes of the modern Civil Rights Movement.Linda Kauffman has written widely on modern and contemporary experimental literature and its theory. Members of our faculty also regularly work with professors of modern literature and culture in other departments including Theatre, Comparative Literature, Art History, Women's Studies, and American Studies.

Our Faculty

Faculty Bookshelf

Author,Unnatural Narrative: Theory, History, and Practice (THEORY INTERPRETATION NARRATIV)
Ohio State University Press,2015
Emily Dickinson: A User's Guide
Wiley Blackwell ,2013
A Poetics of Unnatural Narrative
Ohio State University Press; 1 edition ,2013
The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish
The University of Chicago Press,2012
Co-Advisor ,Emily Dickinson Archive
Harvard University Press ,2012
Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (Coauthored)
Ohio State University Press,2012
Co-Editor, with Samuel Cohen,The Legacy of David Foster Wallace
University of Iowa Press,2012
Empowerment on an Unstable Planet: From Seeds of Human Energy to a Scale of Global Change
Oxford University Press,2011
Twentieth-Century Poetry and the Visual Arts
Cambridge University Press,2011
Our Conrad: Constituting American Modernity
Stanford University Press,2010
Flood Editions,2010
Co-Editor,Modern Jewish Literatures: Intersections and Boundaries
University of Pennsylvania Press ,2009
Co-Editor,The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder
Harper Perennial,2009
Author,Pop Apocalypse: A Possible Satire
Harper Perennial ,2009
Editor,At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn
University of Chicago Press,2009
Editor ,Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby (Approaches to Teaching World Literature)
Modern Language Association of America ,2008
Co-Author,The Heath Anthology of American Literature: Volume A: Beginnings to 1800
Cengage Learning,2008
Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representation in the Literature of the Americas
University of Minnesota Press,2008
Co-Editor,Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry
The University of Virginia Rotunda Press,2008
Narrative Beginnings: Theories and Practices
University of Nebraska Press,2008
Co-author,Jewish Literature And History: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture)
CDL Press,2008
Co-Editor, with Mary Loeffelholz,A Companion to Emily Dickinson
Author,Hebrew, Gender, and Modernity: Critical Responses to Dvora Baron's Fiction
CDL Press: University Press of Maryland,2007
Intimations of Difference: Dvora Baron in the Modern Hebrew Renaissance (Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, & Art)
Syracuse University Press,2006
Flood Editions,2006
Unnatural Voices: Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Ohio State University Press,2006
From the Book of Giants
Co-Editor ,Conversations with August Wilson (Literary Conversations)
University Press of Mississippi,2005
Editor,The Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2004
Co-Editor, with Carola Kaplan and Andrea White,Conrad in the Twenty-first Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
Contributor,Four Trials
Simon & Schuster,2004
Co-Editor ,F. Scott Fitzgerald: New Perspectives
University of Georgia Press,2003
Editor,The Portable Henry James
Penguin Classics,2003
Co-Editor,Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC,2003
Editor,Victory, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2003
Yeats and the Visual Arts
Syracuse University Press,2003
Editor,Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2002
Editor,Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames
Ohio State University Press,2002
Co-editor, with Neil Fraistat,Reimagining Textuality: Textual Studies in the Late Age of Print
University of Wisconsin Press,2001
Editor,Under Western Eyes
Modern Library Classics,2001
The World's Room
University of Chicago Press,2001
The Reef
University of Chicago Press,1999
Co-editor, with Ellen Louise Hart,Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson
Paris Press,1998
Unlikely Stories: Causality and the Nature of Modern Narrative
University of Delaware Press,1997
Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and the Biographical Act
University of North Carolina Press,1996
Editor,New Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald's Neglected Stories
University of Missouri ,1996
Editor,Italian Hours
Pennsylvania State Univ Press,1990
Silence in Henry James: The Heritage of Symbolism and Decadence
Pennsylvania State Univ Press,1986
Malcolm Lowry: A Preface to His Fiction
University of Chicago Press,1979
Flaubert and Joyce: The Rite of Fiction
Princeton University Press,1971
Christina Walter, OPTICAL IMPERSONALITY (2105)
Author,Optical Impersonality: Science, Images, and Literary Modernism
Johns Hopkins University Press,2014

Upcoming Events

Fri Mar 4

9:00 AM
2115 Tawes Hall and Ulrich Recital Hall, 1121 Tawes Hall


November 18, 2015
The Department is saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Emerita Gladys-Marie Frye. Gladys-Marie joined the Department as an associate professor in 1969 and retired as a full professor thirty years later.
November 10, 2015
Congratulations to English major and Honors student Chelsea Randall, the first recipient of the Labonski Scholarship!
November 4, 2015
Jason Reynolds' book named one of Publisher Weekly's Best Young Adult Books of 2015. 
November 4, 2015
Congratulations to Katie Stuller and Stacia Odenwald, for receiving the Dean's Senior Scholar Award for 2015. Both students impressed the selection committee with their academic achievement and will be honored at an award ceremony on November 18th.
November 4, 2015
Last year, the English Department was awarded with the Bronze Certificate for Green Office departments. Thanks to the continued diligence of the Department, our Bronze Certificate has been renewed for another year. This past year the Department has conserved energy, recycled office materials, and saved money by buying products that do not negatively impact the environment. Please help the Main English Office by continuing to make green choices!
November 4, 2015
It is TEDDY BEAR TIME again! For the last 24 years, friends of the Bonnie Johns Children's Fund collected bears on campus.  An estimated 47,000 new bears have been donated during this period from the University of Maryland and given to children in need.  Last year about 800 were collected on campus.  The Main English Office is requesting donations of "NEW" bears or any stuffed animal for children in need.
October 28, 2015
On October 20th, the Department celebrated the National Day on Writing by asking students, faculty, and staff why they write. Using the hastags #whyIwrite and #UMDwrites on Twitter, participants gave their thoughts on writing, which is archived in a Storify.
October 28, 2015
On October 22nd through 23rd, Sianne Ngai of Stanford University visited the Department as the 2015 Petrou lecturer.
October 28, 2015
Jessica Enoch has just been elected to a four-year term on the Board of Directors of the Rhetoric Society of America.  Congratulations, Jess! 
October 28, 2015
Most recently, on October 23rd, Michael Olmert talked to four groups of junior-high students at the Talbot County History Museum in Easton, MD.  His topics were social history, architecture, and material culture and life. Olmert is a member of the board of the Talbot Historical Society. Keep reading to learn more!


This list of useful resources for Modernists was assembled by Professor Brian Richardson and PhD Candidate Jennifer Wellman.  

Sample Exam Lists