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Amy Kaplan

Edward W. Kane Professor of English

Fisher-Bennett Hall 240
215-898-7841

Office Hours

fall 2015

 by appointment 

Working in the interdisciplinary field of American studies, Amy Kaplan's scholarship and teaching focus on the culture of imperialism, comparative perspectives on the Americas, prison writing, the American novel, and mourning, memory and war.

A past president of the American Studies Association, Kaplan received her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University, with a specialty in late-nineteenth-century American literature. Her first book was The Social Construction of American Realism (U Chicago P, 1988). She co-edited, with Donald Pease, Cultures of U. S. Imperialism (Duke, 1993). In her book The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture (Harvard UP 2002) Kaplan shows how imperial expansion abroad--from the US-Mexico War of 1848 to the First World War--profoundly shaped key elements of American culture at home.  She has received an NEH Fellowship and the Norman Forster prize for the best essay in American Literature in 1998 for "Manifest Domesticity."  Last year she was a member of the School of Social Science at  the Institute for Advanced Study.

A wide-ranging critic of contemporary American culture and policy, Kaplan has published  essays on the place of Guantanamo Bay in American history, the discourse of “homeland security” in response to 9/11,  analogies between the American and Roman Empires, academic life in Palestine in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, as well as articles on Mark Twain and Herman Melville. She is currently writing a cultural history of American representations of Israel.

Publications

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired

2015

Thomas Alan Dichter "Violent Convictions: Punishment, Literature, and the Reconstruction of Race "
Emma Stapely "Insurgent Remains: Afterlives of the American Revolution,1770-1820 "

2013

Phillip Maciak "Technologies of Belief: Christian Visions of U.S. Secularism, 1880-1930."

2011

William Nessly "Rewriting the Rising Sun: Narrative Authority and Japanese Empire in Asian American Literature"
Jill Shashaty "As If: Utopian Desire and the Imagination of History in Nineteenth-Century America"

2010

Rachael Nichols "The Human Animal: Tangles in Science and Literature , 1870-1920"

2009

Jeffrey Edwards "Privileged Sensibilities: Conjectural Histories of Race in the Early American Republic"

Courses Taught

spring 2016

ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

spring 2015

ENGL 783.301 Transnational Melville  

fall 2012

ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

spring 2011

ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2010

ENGL 089.001 The American Novel  

spring 2010

ENGL 363.301 American Prison Writing  
ENGL 758.301 19th Century US Imperialism  

fall 2009

ENGL 102.001 War and Literature  

spring 2009

ENGL 799.301 Transnational Melville  

fall 2008

ENGL 102.001 War and Literature  

spring 2007

fall 2006

ENGL 263.301 War and Memory  

spring 2006

fall 2005

ENGL 363.301 War and Memory  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

spring 2005

ENGL 799.301 Violence, Mourning, Memory  

spring 2004

spring 2003

ENGL 289.301 Mourning and Memory  

fall 2002