American Literature After 1900
Penn State is the historic home of American literature in higher education; in the early twentieth century, Fred Lewis Pattee became the first English professor in the country to teach classes exclusively devoted to US literary works. The Americanist faculty at Penn State aim to be similarly ground-breaking.
Recent Grad Courses
Center for American Literary Studies
The Penn State Center for American Literary Studies, dedicated to supporting the study, teaching, and reading of American literatures, is quickly becoming a leading national center; it offers exceptional research and fellowship opportunities for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. CALS sponsored and hosted the inaugural conference of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, for example. Visit the CALS website at www.cals.psu.edu.
People specializing in this area
New York University, Ph.D (Comparative Literature) 2000
The point of departure for Kevin Bell's work is the study of philosophical aesthetics, as framed by particular moments in a conceptual and geographic (dis)continuum traversing German Idealism, Afro-diasporic radical traditions in art, critique and political thought, and (post) Debordian spectacular analysis of everyday consumption and creativity. His documented research crosses a number of disciplinary zones, particularly trans-Atlantic literary modernisms; Black American music, literature and film; deconstructive aesthetic and cultural theory; and explorative traditions in filmmaking. He is the author of Ashes Taken for Fire: Aesthetic Modernism and the Critique of Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). He is working now on an interpretive study entitled Drift Velocities: the Aesthetic Curvature of Radical Black Film and Literature.
Migrant, multiethnic and multilingual U.S. literature
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
- Post-1900 American literature and culture; Jewish American literature and culture; Ethnic literature; Intellectuals and culture; Narrative nonfiction; Literary history