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
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,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

Upcoming Events

Fri Sep 4

3:00 PM

Fri Sep 25

3:00 PM

Fri Oct 9

3:00 PM

Fri Oct 30

3:00 PM

Fri Dec 4

3:00 PM

Fri Mar 26

9:00 AM
TBD Tawes Hall

News

June 30, 2020
UMD English's courses prepare students to become ready for the world, resilient in times of change and trained in the most relevant skills needed for a rewarding and meaningful career. Explore Fall 2020 course themes to learn about race, power, storytelling, and more. 
June 15, 2020
To prioritize the health and safety of our community, the University of Maryland plans for a fall semester of hybrid in-person and remote instruction.New Fall 2020 Update from the Office of the President
June 15, 2020
Dhruva Someshwar, a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, has been chosen as a 2020-21 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. Mark Forrester was listed as the faculty mentor who had the greatest impact on Dhruva’s academic achievement.
June 6, 2020
In a recent interview with PEN America, Mark Doty, author of What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life (W. W. Norton & Company, 2020), expressed his admiration for the Emily Dickinson scholarship of Martha Nell Smith. Doty praised the "marvelous recent film Wild Nights with Emily, based in part on the brilliant work of my friend Martha Nell Smith, a crucial Dickinson scholar." Read the full interview here.
June 5, 2020
This Spring, lecturer Alexandra Calloway successfully adapted an innovative classroom project for her Technical Writing class funded by a grant from the Writing Program in order to meet the demands of new circumstances imposed by the COVID pandemic. 
June 5, 2020
Alysia's Sawchyn debut essay collection, A Fish Growing Lungs, will be published by Burrow Press on June 9. More information about the book is available here.
June 5, 2020
As Editor-in-Chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture, Dennis L. Winston oversaw the publication of two issues of the journal this year: "Spaces and Places" (v7, i1): https://wblinc.org/publications/2016/3/23/blog-post-sample-4lehf-y8m9a and the special issue, "Street Lit" (v7, i2): https://wblinc.org/publications/2016/3/23/blog-post-sample-4lehf
June 5, 2020
Jess Enoch edited a "Cluster Conversation" in the journal Peitho that is dedicated to the centennial memorializations dedicated to the passing of the 19th Amendment--women's right to vote. The title of the conversation is "The Suffrage Centennial: How, Why, and on What Terms Should We Mark this Moment?" UMD PhD student Katie Bramlett contributed an essay to the conversation "Stories of Filipinia Suffrage: Remembering Marginal Histories in Colonial Contexts." https://cfshrc.org/peitho-journal/
June 5, 2020
This spring, Liam Thomas Daley presented material at seminars hosted by the Shakespeare Association of American and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
June 5, 2020
In May of this year, Liam Thomas Daley helped to co-organize a series of online readings of Renaissance history plays for Brave Spirits Theatre Company, directing one of the plays and providing the dramaturgy for two more.

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