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

Devin M. Garofalo, PH.D.

Assistant Professor | Editor, Victorian Poetry
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. She is editor of Victorian Poetry (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Three impulses motivate Garofalo's research and writing: (1) understanding the entanglements of nineteenth-century poetry, ecology, colonialism, and race; (2) tracing ways that literary forms and figures have underwritten material processes of dehumanization from the eighteenth century into our own; and (3) exposing how certain methods of reading depend on troubling assumptions about human subjects. These interests converge in Garofalo's current book project, Worlds Unmanned: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Cosmologies of the Human, which traces the nineteenth-century concomitance of the seemingly universal but restrictive speaking subject of lyric poetry and the coming to consciousness of the white colonial human as geologic agent. Across five chapters, she reads a cross-disciplinary archive of poets and scientists, including Phillis Wheatley (Peters), Charles Lyell, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (among many others). Garofalo pursues these readings in light of Sylvia Wynter's transhistorical account of the cosmology of man, as well as Aimé Césaire's call for a new "humanism made to the measure of the world." To that end, Worlds Unmanned explores not only the lyric collapse of man into Earth but also the moments when this conflation falls apart, thereby affording a glimpse of a planet necessarily unmanned.

Garofalo's research has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as diacritics, European Romantic Review, Victorian Literature and Culture, the Cambridge Companion to Romanticism and Race, and Columbia University Libraries' Teaching Citational Practice (among others). She is a recipient of the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association's annual Richard Stein Essay Prize and was 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. All of Garofalo's work explores 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