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

June 11, 2019
Tyler Mills, a 2008 MFA alumna, has won the 2019 Snowbound Chapbook Award for her chapbook of poems entitled The City Scattered. 
May 29, 2019
Andrew Katz's paper, which focuses on the culture around a method of investing that was new in the 19th century, known as speculation, in the U.S. and U.K. through literature, was recently accepted to several conferences and professional research competitions. His work was recognized at Stanford’s SRC as the top presentation in a qualitative social science.
May 29, 2019
Several faculty members have been recently promoted.
May 28, 2019
Please see below the winners of the 32nd Annual Professional Writing Contest.
May 28, 2019
ACLS Fellow Professor Gerard Passannante has also been named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for his project "God is in the Detail: Cosmic Order and the Sense of Scale."  
May 28, 2019
Konstantinos Pozoukidis presented his paper “Disastrous Encounters in William Wordsworth’s ‘Simon Lee’” at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Conference in Denver, CO, March 21st, 2019.
May 28, 2019
Professor Jermaine Jones won the 2013 Best Male Author of the Year Award for his publication, From Poverty to Prosperity: A Ghetto Exit Strategy as a Rite of Passage.
May 27, 2019
This semester, Manon Soulet received the Wylie Semester Dissertation Fellowship for 2019/2020. She also presented a paper at the the NeMLA Conference entitled “The Trans- as an Aesthetic Category: A Study of Isabelle Eberhardt’s Notes de Route." 
May 27, 2019
Matthew Kirschenbaum has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP). He will present research at the Society's annual conference this summer in Amherst. Also this summer, he will return to teach at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School.
May 27, 2019
Thibault Raoult's poems have recently appeared in typo and OVERSOUND and are forthcoming in Western Humanities Review.

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