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
author ,Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction
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
,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

Upcoming Events

Wed Sep 18

Sat Sep 21

7:30 PM
UMD Memorial Chapel

Tue Sep 24

6:30 PM
BookLab, Tawes Hall 3248

Thu Sep 26

3:00 PM

Sat Sep 28

Thu Oct 3

2:00 PM
Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, Room 1309 (ESJ 1309)

Thu Oct 10

5:30 PM
Ulrich Recital Hall, 1121 Tawes Hall

Fri Oct 11

5:30 PM
Ulrich Recital Hall, 1121 Tawes Hall

Sat Oct 26

Sun Oct 27

Wed Dec 4

3:30 PM

Fri Jan 31

3:00 PM
1123 Tawes Hall

Fri Feb 21

3:00 PM
1123 Tawes Hall

Tue Feb 25

Fri Mar 27

Fri Apr 10

5:00 PM
1123 Tawes Hall

Fri May 8

3:00 PM
1123 Tawes Hall

Thu Jul 16

Fri Mar 26

9:00 AM
TBD Tawes Hall

News

September 13, 2019
April Fuller and Laurel Bassett's "Got Gout? Eighteenth-Century Global 'Remedies' in Mary Kettilby’s Receipt Book" has bee published by the Folger Library's The Collation. Read the article here.
September 13, 2019
Dr. David Simon has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. His first book, Light without Heat: The Observational Mood from Bacon to Milton (Cornell University Press, 2018) argues for the importance of careless inattention and open-ended receptivity to the literary and philosophical experiments of England's scientific revolution. Dr. Simon joined the University of Maryland faculty in Fall 2018.
September 13, 2019
Dr. Gerard Passannante has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. His most recent book, Catastrophizing: Materialism and the Making of Disaster, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2019. This follows his first book, The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition (Chicago, 2011). While at the University of Maryland, Dr. Passanante has taught a range of classes from large lectures on Renaissance drama to smaller seminars on literature, philosophy, and science such as “Leonardo, Montaigne, and Shakespeare,” and “Early Modern Literature and Disaster.”
September 13, 2019
Dr. Jessica Enoch has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. 2019 saw the publication of Dr. Enoch’s second monograph, Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women's Work, published by Southern Illinois University Press. Her co-edited, bilingual critical anthology with Cristina Ramírez titled Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish-Language Press,1887-1922 will also be published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2020. 
September 13, 2019
Dr. Ralph Bauer has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Recent publications include an article with Marcy Norton, Entangled Tragectories: integrating Native and Early Modern European studies, in a special issues of the Colonial Latin American Review (March 2017), as well as the edited collection with Jaime Marroquin Arredondo), Translating Nature: a crosscultural history of early modern science (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). His latest book, The Alchemy of Conquest: Science, Religion, and the Secrets of the New World (UVA Press) will appear in print in October. He is the general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive, and is currently serving as associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Bauer has been with the University of Maryland since 1998.
September 13, 2019
Dr. Scott Trudell has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. His book, Unwritten Poetry: Song, Performance, and Media in Early Modern England, was published by Oxford University Press in May 2019. Past teaching at the University of Maryland has included undergraduate courses on Shakespeare and his contemporaries as well as graduate courses in renaissance literature and media.
September 13, 2019
Dr. Tita Chico has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Her most recent book, The Experimental Imagination: Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment, was published by Stanford University Press in 2018. This year she begins a three-year term as Member-at-Large elected to the Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.
September 13, 2019
Justin Thompson will be presenting work at the Ecology and Religion in the Nineteenth Century virtual conference, a collaboration between Georgetown Univeristy, Armstrong-Browning Library at Baylor University, the University of Washington, and Lancaster University (UK). His paper is entitled, "Evangelic Erasures: Louisa Atkinson and Indigenous Bodies".
September 13, 2019
Memorial services for each Virginia Beauchamp and Stanley Plumly will take place this month.
September 12, 2019
First year graduate student, Claudia Rojas (MFA, Poetry), has been selected for the 2019 Writer's Relief Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award for Creative Writers.  The award is presented to one poet and one short story writer for three cycles of Writer’s Relief submission services free of charge. To learn more about the award and Writer's Relief visit the Writer's Relief website.

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