Literary Theory

The English department offers a strong and diverse tradition of engaging various practices of literary and cultural theory, including narrative theory, feminism and queer theory, psychoanalysis, marxism and various modes of historicism and cultural engagement, deconstruction, postcolonial, transnational, and globalization theory, and legal theory. Individual faculty profiles describe specific interests in these regards.

Our Faculty

Faculty Bookshelf

author,The Experimental Imagination: Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment
Stanford University Press,2018
author ,Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction
Harvard University Press,2016
Editor,Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming
The MIT Press,2016
Author,Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing
Harvard University Press,2016
Author,Weapons of Democracy: Propaganda, Progressivism, and American Public Opinion
Johns Hopkins University Press,2015
Author,Emily Dickinson: A User's Guide
Wiley Blackwell ,2013
Co-Editor,The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies
Oxford Handbooks,2013
Co-Advisor ,Emily Dickinson Archive
Harvard University Press ,2012
Co-Editor, with Samuel Cohen,The Legacy of David Foster Wallace
University of Iowa Press,2012
,Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment
Palgrave Macmillan,2012
,Romantic Sobriety: Sensation, Revolution, Commodification, History
The Johns Hopkins University Press,2011
,The Grammar of Polarity: Pragmatics, Sensitivity, and the Logic of Scales
Cambridge University Press,2011
,Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship
Duke University Press,2011
Journal Editor,The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation
Penn Press,2011
,Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
Yale University Press,2011
,Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections
Council on Library and Information Resources,2010
Author,Pop Apocalypse: A Possible Satire
Harper Perennial ,2009
,Embodied: Victorian Literature and the Senses
University of Minnesota Press,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
Co-Editor, with Mary Loeffelholz,A Companion to Emily Dickinson
Wiley-Blackwell,2008
,Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination
MIT Press,2007
,Body Shots: Early Cinema's Incarnations
University of California Press,2007
Editor,Reading Renaissance Ethics
Routledge,2007
Editor,The Iron Heel, by Jack London
Penguin,2006
Editor,The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cather
Cambridge University Press,2005
Co-Editor, with Ryan Johnson,Filth: Dirt, Disgust, and Modern Life
University of Minnesota Press,2005
,Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture
,2005
Co-Editor,Tiep Can Duong Dai Van Hoa My: Contemporary Approaches to American Culture
Hanoi National University ,2000
,Fantastic Modernity: Dialectical Readings in Romanticism and Theory
Johns Hopkins University Press,2000
,Willa Cather: Queering America
Columbia University Press,1999
Co-editor, with Ellen Louise Hart,Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson
Paris Press,1998
,The Story of All Things: Writing the Self in English Renaissance Narrative Poetry
Duke University Press,1998
Editor,Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon
University of Kentucky Press,1998
Editor,O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Oxford University Press,1997
Editor,Northland Stories, by Jack London
Penguin,1996
,Sex Scandal: The Private Parts of Victorian Fiction
Duke University Press,1996
,Male Call: Becoming Jack London
Duke University Press,1996
,"Doers of the Word": African-American Women Speakers & Writers in the North (1830-1880)
Oxford University Press,1995
,The Romance of Failure
Oxford University Press,1989
Christina Walter, OPTICAL IMPERSONALITY (2105)
Author,Optical Impersonality: Science, Images, and Literary Modernism
Johns Hopkins University Press,2014

News

October 18, 2018
Stop by BookLab in 3248 Tawes Hall to print quotes from Mary Shelley's 1818 edition of Frankenstein in ghoulish green and other spooky colors!
October 11, 2018
Elizabeth Acevedo's novel, The Poet X, has been announced as a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
October 4, 2018
The article and video, "Create a ‘Personal Brand,’ and Other Tips Learned During a Day With a Recruiter," highlight Connolly's experience as a recruiter.
October 1, 2018
The $10,000 award will support Professor Collins's course, "Caribbean Literature: Literature and Ideas in the Caribbean," which will be held in collaboration with students and faculty at the University of the West Indies.
September 20, 2018
Robin Earnest and Patrick Nelson will be presenting at the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Annual Convention in Pittsburgh this coming March. 
September 20, 2018
University of Maryland MFA alumna Shara Lessley published a new book of poems, The Explosive Expert's Wife (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018). She also co-edited a collection of essays titled, The Poem's Country: Place and Poetic Practice (Pleiades Press, 2018).
September 18, 2018
David Biespiel's book, The Education of a Young Poet (Counterpoint Press, 2018), will be released on Tuesday, October 9th. David Biespiel is the former coordinator of the MFA program and a University of Maryland alumnus.
September 13, 2018
Recent PhD alumnus and Ohio State University-Mansfield Assistant Professor Jamie Kantor was recently published in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (PMLA). 
September 13, 2018
The National Book Foundation recognized ten authors for "Young People's Literature."  
September 11, 2018
Alumnus Stephen Rojcewicz presented “George Antrobus: Genius in a Name” at the Third International Thornton Wilder Conference, Peterborough, NH, June 12, 2018. 

Prospective Students

Alongside the many occasional events and lectures concerning "theory" featured in the English Department, and highlighted on the home page of its website and its calendar, advanced students are also especially recommended to consider the special theory colloquia, often featuring distinguished guests, offered each semester by rotating faculty members