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,Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing
Harvard University Press,2016
Editor,Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming
The MIT Press,2016
Author,Weapons of Democracy: Propaganda, Progressivism, and American Public Opinion
Johns Hopkins University Press,2015
Author,Unnatural Narrative: Theory, History, and Practice (THEORY INTERPRETATION NARRATIV)
Ohio State University Press,2015
,Emily Dickinson: A User's Guide
Wiley Blackwell ,2013
Co-Editor,The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies
Oxford Handbooks,2013
,A Poetics of Unnatural Narrative
Ohio State University Press; 1 edition ,2013
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
,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
,Narrative Beginnings: Theories and Practices
University of Nebraska 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
,Unnatural Voices: Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Ohio State University Press,2006
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
Editor,Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames
Ohio State University Press,2002
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
,Unlikely Stories: Causality and the Nature of Modern Narrative
University of Delaware 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

Upcoming Events

Thu Sep 28

10:30 AM

Fri Sep 29

1:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 2115

Fri Oct 6

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3136

Thu Oct 12

1:30 PM

Fri Oct 13

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Tue Oct 17

Fri Oct 27

1:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3134

Wed Nov 1

Fri Nov 10

1:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3134

Mon Nov 13

1:00 PM

Fri Nov 17

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 2123

Fri Dec 1

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 2123

Tue Dec 5

Fri Dec 8

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3136

Fri Jan 26

3:00 PM

Fri Feb 2

3:00 PM

Fri Feb 9

Fri Feb 16

3:00 PM

Fri Feb 23

Fri Mar 2

3:00 PM

Fri Mar 9

Fri Mar 30

3:00 PM

Wed Apr 4

2:00 PM

Fri Apr 6

Fri Apr 13

3:00 PM

Fri Apr 27

3:00 PM

Fri May 4

3:00 PM

News

September 14, 2017
Lindsay Bernal, whose poetry collection What It Doesn't Have to Do With is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press, has been selected for the 2017 National Poetry Series competition.
September 13, 2017
The Tessera--the NSF-funded game Kari Kraus and her collaborators launched last spring--will be showcased as an Indiecade 2017 Official Selection at this year's festival (press release here). 
September 13, 2017
Michael Olmert lectured on “18th Century Architecture and the Creation of Sacred Spaces,” at Historic St. Martin’s Church (built 1756-63), Worcester Co., MD.,  Sept. 9, 2017.  This talk was adapted from a chapter of his forthcoming book, "Space, Meaning, and Intention in 18th Century Architecture."
September 12, 2017
Tyler Mills, a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing, was recently selected by Oliver de la Paz for the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize. Her manuscript ​Hawk Parable is forthcoming in 2019.  
September 6, 2017
PhD student, Dominique Young, was recently featured in an article about the graduate school's mentoring and diversity initiatives. 
September 6, 2017
Christin Taylor '13 recently got a book contract with the University Press of Mississippi for a version of her dissertation, directed by David Wyatt. The book is tentatively titled Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work and Sex. It reconsiders the use of an imagined working class black folk across genres of southern modernism during the New Deal and Popular Front eras.
September 5, 2017
Judith Krummeck spoke with Rudy about his forthcoming book, Imagined Homelands: British Poetry in the Colonies (Johns Hopkins UP, December 2017). 
August 28, 2017
Emily Johnson graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in spring 2017 with a double major in English and Linguistics. While on campus, she completed an Honors College citation, was admitted to Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, and received the Dean's Scholarship. She is currently interning at Her Mind magazine and is in search of a career in editing or publishing. This summer, Johnson gained admission to a Folger Institute workshop on digital archives at the Folger Shakespeare Library. — Editor's Note
August 24, 2017
This summer Simone Drake was promoted to full professor and awarded the Youngberg Distinguished Professor chair in the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. She is affiliate faculty in the Department of English as well as Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is also the principal investigator for an $130, 000 Arts & Humanities Discovery Theme grant at Ohio State University that focuses on Transnational Black Citizenship.
August 8, 2017
Professor Zita Nunes received a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

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