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,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

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News

January 16, 2018
James Mattson's recent novel The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves, was named as one of Amazon's Best Books picks for December, 2017. Mattson's novel was also placed on the New York Post's required reading list that same month.
January 16, 2018
Stewart Foehl’s next novel, Look Closer, has been sold to Sourcebooks Fire for publication in Feb, 2019. The novel, which will be published under the pen name Stewart Lewis, is a young adult coming-of-age mystery about a girl who sees the names of people who will die that day. 
January 11, 2018
Students studying abroad with Jason Rudy in Australia for the Winter semster were featured on the news of the Australian NBC network. 
January 9, 2018
Congratuations to alumna Joelle Biele on her latest publication Tramp: Poems, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press. 
January 9, 2018
UMD Libraries are now accepting submissions for the Library Award for Undergraduate Research.  As you are working on your research papers now, please consider submitting your final outstanding paper for one of the three $1,000 awards UMD Libraries offer to you this year.
December 20, 2017
The Modern Language Association's Annual Convention is being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from January 4th through the 7th. Those presenting from the Department include faculty members and graduate students. 
December 7, 2017
Professor Howard Norman's latest novel My Darling Detective was included on NPR's 2017 "Best Books" list. The book wasrecommended by Robert Siegal, host of All Things Considered. 
December 4, 2017
Daniel Powell (B.A. in English Language and Literature, 2001) has been elected a 2018 Hawthornden Fellow for his short story, "Runaways," from his collection-in-progress, Fo(u)nd Memories.  He will spend a month at Scotland's Hawthornden Castle, where he'll finish the collection and work on a novel
November 30, 2017
The MFA Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce its nominees for AWP's IntroJournals Project, an annual literary competition for the discovery and publication of new work by students currently enrolled in creative writing programs around the country. 
November 28, 2017
Please join us in congratulating Doug Kern and Jess Enoch, the first recipients of the John Long Innovative Teaching Award!  Each award is $1500. 

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