Susan Gillman

Graduate Program Director
DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentLiterature Department
AffiliationsFeminist Studies Department
Phone831-459-4199 (Office),
831-459-1924 (Message)
Web Site
OfficeHumanities 1 640
Campus Mail StopHumanities Academic Services
picture of Susan Gillman

Research Interests

Nineteenth-century American literature and culture; theories of culture, race, and sexuality; world literature and cultural studies; transnational and translational approaches to literature.

Biography, Education and Training

I am a scholar of race and race-relations in the United States, the Americas, and beyond. From my usual base in the nineteenth century, I approach the study of national literatures and cultures from a “worlded” perspective developed by the cluster in World Literature and Cultural Studies at UCSC. My first book – focusing on Mark Twain’s lifelong interest in identity and imposture - explores his engagement with the changing systems of racial classification in the late nineteenth-century US. My second book considers the mode of “American race melodrama,” which I contextualize as part of the “culture of the occult,” a quasi-political meeting ground for both race radicals and conservatives. My current book in progress reaches into hemispheric and ocean studies with a project tracing the strange career of the term “American Mediterranean,” a combined scholarly metaphor and folk geographical concept, appearing and disappearing in multiple disciplines, genres and languages, a point of departure for a comparative critical study of the Americas.

Selected Publications

“Black Jacobins and New World Mediterraneans,” in eds. Peter Hulme, Owen Robinson, et al, Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York to Rio

“Oceans of Longue Durées,” PMLA 127-2 (March 2012): 328-34.

“Whose Protest Novel? Ramona, the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the Indian,” in ed. Russ Castronovo, The Oxford Handbook to Expanding Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Oxford University Press, 2012).

“Networking Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Hyper-Stowe,” in eds. Lara Langer Cohen and Jordan Stein, Early African American Print Culture in Theory and Practice (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

“Worlding America: The Hemispheric Text-Network,” co-authored with Kirsten Silva Gruesz, in eds. Caroline F. Levander and Robert S. Levine, A Companion to American Literary Studies (Blackwell, 2011).

“His Hundred-year Book,” review of Autobiography of Mark Twain-Vol. One, ed. Harriet Elinor Smith et al (University of California Press), Times Literary Supplement (December 10, 2010), p. 7.

“Is He Dead?”, Times Literary Supplement (June 4, 2010), cover story, 3, 4, 7.

“Otra vez Caliban/Encore Caliban: Adaptation/Translation/Americas Studies” (American Literary History 20: 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2008): 187-209. Translated into Spanish, Casa de las Américas, April-June 2008.