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
,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

News

January 26, 2020
Brian Richardson read a paper, “Dying Again and Again: Unruly Ecologies of Plot in Contemporary Fiction,” at the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present in October in College Park. His article, “I, etcetera: The Poetics and Politics of Multiperson Narration“ was translated into Portuguese and published in Revista Ribanceira 14 (2018) 123-43. His book, A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-first Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives, was published in November by Ohio State University Press in their Theory and Interpretation of Narrative series.
January 26, 2020
he MFA Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce our nominees for the Intro Journals Project (2020), an annual literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new work by students currently enrolled in AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) member programs: https://www.awpwriter.org/contests/intro_journals_project_overview
January 26, 2020
MFA fiction student Jehane Sharah has been awarded a Sterling Watson MFA Fellowship to attend the Sixteenth Annual Eckerd College Writers' Conference in Florida in January 2020.
January 26, 2020
Konstantinos Pozoukidis received a $5,000 grant from the Gerondelis Foundation Inc.Konstantinos also will be presenting his roundatble contribution entitled "Emma's Detour" at the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (ASECS) conference in St. Louis, MO, March 2020.He presented his paper "Emma at Crossroads: Modernity and the Remains of History" at the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (EC/ASECS) in  Gettysburg, PA, October 24 – 26, 2019
January 26, 2020
In October 2019, Leigh Ryan (Writing Center Director Emerita) presented at the International Writing Centers Association/National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing conference: “The (HE)ART of It All: What Departing Writing Center Directors Carry with Them.”  In September, she served as a mentor at York College of Pennsylvania’s annual Naylor Undergraduate Research Workshop. She also recently spoke at a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on “’To Do Right and Overcome’: The Plummer Family in Slavery and Freedom” and at Odenton Genealogists on “The Plummers: Honoring the Lives and Legacy of an Enslaved  Prince George’s County Family.”
January 26, 2020
Liz Arnold's sequence, "Effacement," was reprinted recently by PARIS REVIEW in their online daily journal. She has two poems coming out from OVERSOUND in the spring.
January 26, 2020
Mal Haselberger presented a conference paper at the American Printing History Association, "'[Shaping] up before my eyes and in my own loving hands': Jane Grabhorn's Jumbo Press and the Feminist Possbilities of Print," in October 2019. She also gave a talk, titled "Learning to Measure by Ems and Picas: A Letterpress Journey," at the Library of Congress for the Denker Fellows Symposium hosted by the American Printing History Association's Chesapeake Chapter in November 2019.
January 26, 2020
HeadStuff, the award winning Arts and Culture website, recently interviewed Mark Fitzgerald about his book, Downburst. To read the interview, click here. 
January 26, 2020
Maud Casey's story, "Bells of Loudun" appears in the current issue (7) of Bennington Review. Her essay, "Everything is Listening: The Sound of Silence in Fiction," is forthcoming in The Sewannee Review.
January 26, 2020
Nabila Hijazi presented a paper entitled, “Academic Death through Human Birth," as part of "RhetComp Mamas Speak: Autoethnographies of Everyday Maternal Activism" panel at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference at James Madison University on November 14, 2019.

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