Ian Finseth, Ph.D. | Department of English

Ian Finseth, Ph.D.

Professor
Office: 
408J Language Bldg

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Education:

  • B.A. UC Berkeley
  • M.A. University of Virginia
  • Ph.D. UNC-Chapel Hill

Dr. Ian Finseth specializes in American and African American literature of the long nineteenth century, with particular interests in the slave narrative, Civil War studies, and the environmental humanities. In addition to numerous essays, 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, 2018), shows how the war dead served as a kind of symbolic currency that informed Americans' melancholic relationship to their own past, even as the country embarked decisively upon its technological, geopolitical, and intellectual modernity. Dr. Finseth's current research concerns literary representations of reverie and other absorptive or dissociative psychological states.

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 active citizenship, for the pursuit of a meaningful and rewarding career, and for experiencing more deeply what Mary Oliver called this "one wild and precious life."

Selected Publications:

The Civil War Dead and American Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (University of Virginia Press, 2014)

The American Civil War: A Literary and Historical Anthology (Routledge, 2013)

Shades of Green: Visions of Nature in the Literature of American Slavery, 1770-1860 (University of Georgia Press, 2011)

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