American Literature

Editors in Chief | Editorial Board | Articles and Contributors

Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature is designed to provide authoritative guidance. The scholarly examination of American literature is a popular field of study both in the United States and globally. From postmodern theory to debates about the canon, from slave narratives to comic books, American literature is one of the most active fields in academia today. The field is characterized by the many cultures, religions, and ethnicities that have contributed to the larger American literary tradition over the past 500 years. The study of literature invites trans-disciplinary collaboration with fields as varied as history, cultural studies, politics, and women’s studies making it challenging for students and scholars to stay informed about related areas of study. In addition, a great deal of this work has moved online with the most recent scholarship, research, and statistics appearing in online databases. With advances in online searching and database technologies, researchers and practitioners can easily access library catalogs, bibliographic indexes, and other lists that show thousands of resources that might also be useful to them. In this situation what is most needed is expert guidance. Researchers and practitioners at all levels need tools that help them filter through the proliferation of information sources to material that is reliable and directly relevant to their inquiries.  Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature will offer a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.


Editors in Chief

Jackson R. Bryer is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses, principally in twentieth-century American fiction and American dramatic literature, for more than four decades. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than 50 books. Among them are Black American Writers: Bibliographical Essays (1978); American Women Writers: Bibliographical Essays (1983); Conversations with Lillian Hellman (1987); Selected Letters of Eugene O’Neill (1988); Sixteen Modern American Authors––Volume 2: A Survey of Research and Criticism Since 1972 (1990); The Heath Anthology of American Literature (1990; 1994; 1998; 2001; 2005; 2009); Lanford Wilson: A Casebook (1994); French Connections: Hemingway and Fitzgerald Abroad (1998); The Actor’s Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers (2001); Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (2002); The Facts on File Companion to American Drama (2004; 2009); The Art of the American Musical: Conversations with the Creators (2005); Conversations with August Wilson (2006); The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder (2008); and Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (2009). He is the co-editor and co-founder of Resources for American Literary Study and co-editor of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Review. He is co-founder and President of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, President of the Thornton Wilder Society, former President and current member of the Board of Directors of the Eugene O’Neill Society, and former member of the Board of Directors of the Ernest Hemingway Society and Foundation. He has served on the editorial boards of the South Atlantic Quarterly, the Eugene O’Neill Review, and American Drama.

Richard Kopley is Distinguished Professor of English at Penn State DuBois, where he teaches both literature and writing. A specialist in American Romanticism, he has published extensively on Edgar Allan Poe (including Edgar Allan Poe and the Dupin Mysteries [Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, 2011]) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (including The Threads of The Scarlet Letter: A Study of Hawthorne’s Transformative Art [University of Delaware Press, 2003]). He has spoken on Poe and Hawthorne at scholarly conferences in the United States and around the world. He has also served as president of the Poe Studies Association and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society. And he has published, as well, on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville. Dr. Kopley has edited several books—Poe’s Pym: Critical Explorations (Duke University Press, 1992), Prospects for the Study of American Literature (NYU Press, 1997), Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (Penguin, 1999)—and co-edited others—Prospects for the Study of American Literature (II) (AMS Press, 2010) and Poe Writing / Writing Poe (AMS Press, 2013). He is the co-editor of the journal Resources for American Literary Study (Penn State Press, 1992-2001; AMS Press, 2002-present) and has served as the Chat Coordinator for the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Dr. Kopley has also published short stories (“A Dream” [Poe Review, 2003] and “The Hideous and Intolerable Bookshop” [Lighthouse Anthology 2, Alma Press, 2012]) and a children’s picture-book (The Remarkable David Wordsworth [Eifrig Publishing, 2013]).

Paul Lauter is Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature at Trinity College. He teaches American literature, specializing in the early 19th century and in contemporary multicultural writing. He is the author of several books including Canons and Contexts (Oxford, 1991) and From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park–The Cultural Work of American Studies (Duke, 2001), now in its 6th edition and for which Lauter is general editor, represents a successful effort to put canon change into practice. Other recent projects include a co-edited collection called Literature, Class, and Culture (Longman’s, 2001), a volume of Thoreau’s writings for the New Riverside Series (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), and a Blackwell Companion to American Literature and Culture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Lauter served as president of the American Studies Association (USA) and was the 2001 recipient of the annual Jay Hubbell medal for lifetime achievement in American Literary Study awarded by the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association; and in 2006 of the Bode-Pearson Prize of the American Studies Association for lifetime achievement in American Studies.


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