Dr. Ian Finseth specializes in American and African American literature of the long nineteenth century, with particular research interests in the slave narrative, Civil War studies, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of Shades of Green: Visions of Nature in the Literature of American Slavery, 1770-1860 (University of Georgia Press, 2009), and has edited or co-edited several books, including The American Civil War: A Literary and Historical Anthology (Routledge, 2013) and Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (University of Virginia Press, 2014). His most recent work, The Civil War Dead and American Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2017), studies the entangled influences of mortality, historical experience, visual art, and literary realism on the development of U.S. culture in the decades after the war.
Dr. Finseth teaches graduate and advanced undergraduate courses on all aspects of nineteenth-century American literature and culture. He is committed to helping students get the most out of their encounter with often difficult material, and to exploring how the intellectual work done in a classroom equips us for the broader challenges of responsible citizenship, for the pursuit of a meaningful and rewarding career, and for experiencing more deeply what Thoreau called this "beautiful and winged life."