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Faculty specializing in this area investigate a wide range of literary and narrative forms – fiction, poetry, prose non-fiction, drama, television, film, comics, maps, postcards – in the name of anatomizing the wide variety of American experiences. Our research has a considerable historical scope, from the early colonial period to the present, but concentrates on American cultures from the early nineteenth century and forward.

We are dedicated to nurturing future scholars. Our faculty teach undergraduate courses in American literature from all periods and contribute to Memorial's Film Studies Minor with courses on American film. Recent and ongoing graduate seminars led by faculty working in this area include HBO's America: Television, Culture, History and Representations of the American City, 1790-1915. We have also edited or collaborated on articles with students, publishing in the graduate journal /postscript/ and the open-access journal At the Edge. Graduate students under our recent supervision have completed dissertations on twentieth-century poetics and Cold War literature, violence in twentieth-century fiction, and theorizations of race and identity in American culture; graduate students currently under our supervision are working on international film adaptations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe and on theories of comedy in twentieth- and twenty-first century American comic strips.

Faculty in this area publish articles in a range of journals and books, including The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, PMLA, ESQ, Journal of American Studies, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, and The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts.

Faculty Working in this Area

Brad Clissold

Mark Cumming

Joel Deshaye

Chris Lockett

Andrew Loman

Bernice Schrank

Donna Walsh


Image Information: "New York - Preparing the Statue of 'liberty' on Bedloe's Island, for the formal unvailing [sic] on October 28th - Present condition of the work / from a sketch by a staff artist." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1886. Web. Library of Congress. 25 Feb. 2012.