From the American Literary Studies program, doctoral candidate Amy Gore will begin the coming fall semester as a tenure-track, assistant professor of Early American Literature at North Dakota State University. Her scholarship and teaching specializes in nineteenth-century Indigenous and American literatures, with interests in book history, gothic literature, body studies, and the recovery of nineteenth-century women and Native American writers. Her successfully defended dissertation, “Material Matters: Paratextual Bodies in Nineteenth-Century Indigenous Literary History,” theorizes the material relationships between books and bodies in nineteenth-century Indigenous literary history to claim the book itself as a form of embodied power relations. She serves on the executive committee for the MLA forum on the Indigenous Literatures of the United States and Canada, and she previously served on the executive committee of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). Her awards include the Center for Regional Studies Hector Torres Fellowship, the Emerging Scholars Professional Development Fellowship from the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL), the Bibliographic Society for the University of Virginia Scholarship, the Elisabeth and George Arms Research Grant to support archival research at the New York Public Library and the New York Historical Society, two mentorship awards on behalf of graduate students in the department, and the Davis and Fresch Literature Teaching Award.
Oliver Baker, also a graduating doctoral student of American Literary Studies, has accepted a tenure-track position in Critical/Comparative Ethnic Studies in the long 19th Century at the Pennsylvania State University. The position is a joint appointment in the Departments of English and African American Studies. The appointment begins in the Fall of 2019. At Penn State, Baker will teach courses in nineteenth-century ethnic American literature, critical race and decolonial theory, historical materialism, and African, Indigenous, Chicanx, and working-class critiques of settler colonialism and racial capitalism.
Baker recently defended his dissertation, “Dissonances of Dispossession: Narrating Colonialism and Slavery in the Expansion of Capitalism” that studies how nineteenth-century novels of Indigenous, African, and Mexican American writers represent the ways settler colonialism and slavery enable the growth of capitalism from the period of manifest destiny to the New Deal era. It argues that the formal dissonance of these early novels embodies and thus makes visible how the social cohesion, cooperation, and consent required for liberal democracy and the wage labor relation are produced through and depend on Native dispossession and anti-Black subjection. The project hopes to offer new ways of understanding not only the history of racial capitalism in the long 19th century, but also forms of resistance to it.