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
,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


October 11, 2016
Please join us in congratulating the following UMD graduates and their advisors on their recent and impressive placements:
October 7, 2016
English 379W, "Victorian Poetry, Victorian Bodies," had a special drumming session today with Scott Tiemann, a percussion specialist from UMBC. They worked on different rhythmic patterns to help make better sense of Victorian meters. They also experimented with recitations -- in a range of rhythmic patterns -- of Tennyson's poem "Break, Break, Break."
September 12, 2016
The English Department is a certified Green Office within the University, which means that our department does its part in order to help the University be more sustainable. The UMD Sustainability Fund currently has $390,000 available for projects that promote environmental sustainability and positively impact the student experience at UMD.
September 12, 2016
Jess Enoch was the keynote speaker at the Naylor Conference for Undergraduate Research at York College in York, Pennsylvania (Sept. 9-11). She presented with two of her students from the spring 2016 semester Keith Wise and Sean McGovern. Their presentation "Reflections on Method: Undergraduate Research and Digital Transcription" discussed the digital transcription project of Madge Preston's diaries that students completed in Enoch's spring's course Women in Public Memory in Material and Digital Worlds. Additionally, Jess Enoch was a featured speaker at the Humanities Lecture Series at York College on Sept. 8th where she  presented "Remembering (and Forgetting) Women: Exploring Complexities of the Public Memory Archive." 
September 12, 2016
Oak Knoll Press has recently published The Daniel Press and The Garland of Rachel by Bill and Sylvia Peterson (both former faculty), an account of a small private press operated by an Oxford don near the end of the nineteenth century. The Garland of Rachel (1881) is a collection of poetic tributes to Henry and Emily Daniel's one-year-old daughter, and today it is regarded as one of the most sought-after of Victorian rare books.
September 8, 2016
The English Department hosted its annual Welcome Assembly on September 7th. Faculty, staff, and students gathered to hear introductions, announcements, and news of plans for the year ahead. Following the formal program in Ulrich Hall was a brunch reception on the third floor patio.
September 7, 2016
Brian Richardson’s article, “Modern Fiction, the Poetics of Lists, and the Boundaries of Narrative,” was published in Style 50 (2016) 327-41. He read a paper in a panel he organized and chaired on “Antiworlds and Unnatural Narrative Theory” at the International Conference on Narrative in Amsterdam in June. He also served as an evaluator for a new international PhD program based at the University of Lisbon.
September 7, 2016
Emily Mitchell has been asked to participate in the PEN/Faulkner Writers in the Schools program.
September 7, 2016
Joshua Weiner's Berlin Notebook, prose about the refugee crisis, will be published this fall by the Los Angeles Review of Books. An outtake from it appeared in the summer issue of The Threepenny Review. Keep reading to learn more.
September 7, 2016
Emily Flamm (MFA '13) received second place and $500 in Carve Magazine's Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. Her story, "Come Down to the Water," will be published in the fall issue.


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

Sample Exam Lists