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,Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing
Harvard University Press,2016
Editor,Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming
The MIT Press,2016
author ,Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction
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
,Male Call: Becoming Jack London
Duke University Press,1996
,Sex Scandal: The Private Parts of Victorian Fiction
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

March 14, 2019
Crystal Parikh's book entitled Writing Human Rights: The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color has won the 2019 Association for Asian American Studies Award for Outstanding Achievement in Humanities and Cultural Studies: Literature.
March 14, 2019
Maud Casey has been selected to be the AY19-20 Long Teaching Fellow. Each academic year, one tenure-track faculty member seeking to enhance the classroom experience serves as the Department of English’s Long Teaching Fellow.
March 14, 2019
During spring break, many current and former (and an incoming) members of the English Department will be participating at the annual American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in Denver, CO. 
March 13, 2019
NCTE hosts its annual CCCCs convention in Pittsburgh March 13-16, 2019. UMD English faculty, students, and alumni present research in twenty-one sessions.
March 11, 2019
Tyrus Miller, Dean of the Humanities at UC Irvine, observes, "The humanities are where many future leaders, communicators, scholars, CEOs, storytellers, creatives, directors, writers and entrepreneurs come to get their start. While the disciplines of the humanities themselves are distinct, together they provide students with a common set of skills that employers of today, and especially those of the future, will rely on."
March 8, 2019
Joshua Weiner's translations of Silesius, Goethe, and Ernst Janl were published last month in Great River Review, the literary journal revived by Peter Campion at University of Minnesota.  Three new poems appear in the current issue of Manchester Review (UK).
March 8, 2019
Wild Nights With Emily, the feature film based on Martha Nell Smith’s work, opens April 12th at the Landmark 57 and the Quad in New York and The Landmark in LA, and then in 50 cities after that. 
March 6, 2019
Barry Lee Pearson was an interview subject and contributor to "American Icons: 'Cross Road Blues.'" 
March 6, 2019
DeLisa D. Hawkes is the winner of the 2019 ALSCW Dissertation Fellowship. 
March 6, 2019
Kent Cartwright had three essays on Shakespeare published or about to be published in 2019, including a self-interview on Hamlet; an essay on secularism and wonder in All’s Well That Ends Well; and a much enlarged version, for book publication, of his review of the 2016 production of The Merchant of Venice in the Venetian Ghetto.  He continues to make progress on his monograph, “Shakespeare and the Comedy of Re-Enchantment.”  

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