Devin M. Garofalo, PH.D. | Department of English

Devin M. Garofalo, PH.D.

Assistant Professor | SiTN Book Review Editor
408H Language Bldg

Devin M. Garofalo's research focuses on nineteenth-century British literature, poetry and poetics, empire and race, and the environmental humanities. She received her PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017.

Her current book project, Worlds Unmanned, explores how nineteenth-century thinkers envisioned poetry as an anthropogenic race project. Tracing the historical concomitance of the normative lyric subject and the coming to consciousness of the human as planetary agent, the book shows how an ecocidal and emphatically racialized cosmology of the human is naturalized in and by the expressive fiction of poetry. In the long nineteenth-century, the operations of anthropomorphosis (or rhetoric) and anthropogenesis (or terraforming) are co-constitutive. Their collusions make visible how the forms, tropes, and intellectual configurations of Romantic and Victorian poetries are not strictly metaphysical in content but materially underwrite a set of dehumanizing global processes whose operations remain formative at present. Tracing the imbrications of poetry, colonial Man, and world, the book also attends to where and how this coalition falls apart. For in these moments, nineteenth-century British poetry unwittingly glimpses what Aimé Césaire calls "a humanism made to the measure of the world"--a world unmanned.

Garofalo's research has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as diacritics, European Romantic Review, Victorian Literature and Culture, and the Cambridge Companion to Romanticism and Race (among others). A portion of Worlds Unmanned that appeared in Victorian Literature and Culture as "Victorian Lyric in the Anthropocene" was awarded the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association's annual Richard Stein Essay Prize. Garofalo was also a recent finalist in the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism's annual pedagogy contest. Her teaching interests include Romantic and Victorian literatures, poetry and poetics, empire and race, gender and sexuality, the environmental humanities, and critical theory. Before joining UNT, she spent two years as an assistant professor in English at Florida Atlantic University and three years with UW-Madison's Center for the Humanities, where she served as A. W. Mellon Public Humanities Fellow and program coordinator of the Great World Texts in Wisconsin (GWT) program. As GWT coordinator, she brought university faculty and staff together with high school educators and students across the state of Wisconsin in the study of world literature. Part of this work involved collaboratively authoring multi-unit teaching guides on Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West, William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. These teaching guides (and others) are freely available for public use and can be found here. All of Garofalo's work is dedicated to exploring the import of humanistic inquiry--and literary studies, in particular--now. She welcomes opportunities to join in collective work across disciplinary, institutional, and discursive boundaries.

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