College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Kirk McAuley
Assistant Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies

Kirk McAuley


Kirk McAuley received his Ph.D. in British and American literature from the State University of New York, University at Buffalo in 2006. Since then he has taught in the Expository Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma, and the Division of Humanities at New College (the honors college) of Florida. He joined the English Department at WSU in August 2008.

Research / Teaching Interests
Eighteenth-Century Studies, British and American Literature & Culture (including poetry and non-fiction prose) from the colonial period to 1900, Transatlantic Studies, Travel and Empire Writing, Print Culture, Gender, and Environmental Criticism.

McAuley’s first book, Print Technology in Scotland and America, 1740–1800, investigates the ‘mediation’ of popular-political culture in Scotland and America, from the transatlantic religious revivals known as the Great Awakening to the U.S. presidential election of 1800. By focusing on Scotland and America – and, in particular, the “tension between unity and fragmentation” that, according to Susan Manning, characterizes eighteenth-century Scottish and American literature and culture – this manuscript aims to increase our understanding of how tensions (ethnic, racial, economic, political, aesthetic, and religious) within these corresponding political and cultural ‘contact zones’ altered print’s meaning and power as an instrument of empire and nation building. McAuley completed this project with the generous support of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville, VA. The book was published in November 2013 in Bucknell University Press’s Transits: Literature, Thought, and Culture, 1650–1850 series, which “seeks to provide transformative readings of the literary, cultural, and historical interconnections between Britain, Europe, the Far East, Oceania, and the Americas in the long eighteenth century, and as they extend down to the present time.”

Building on several grant-funded research trips to the National Library of Scotland and Library Company of Philadelphia, McAuley has already broken substantial ground on a second book project, tentatively titled Invasive Species: The Economy and Ecology of Transatlantic ‘Empire Writing.’  This new project investigates the romance of globalization, with particular attention paid to the ecological footprint of transatlantic traffic in material goods (sugar, tobacco, iron, etc.), animal resources, and human cargo (the slave trade). Focusing on the interfaces of landscape and power, and nature and culture in British ‘empire writing’ – including Caribbean newspapers and magazines, travel literature, maps of Africa, georgics, treatises on planting, slave narratives, etc. – Invasive Species aims to increase our understanding of what Lisabeth Paravisini-Gerbert (Postcolonial Ecologies, 2011) describes as the “inseparability of current crises of ecological mismanagement from historical legacies of imperialist exploitation.”

McAuley has taught a variety of courses in Eighteenth-Century British and Early American literature, including surveys and seminars in transatlantic studies, print culture, multicultural early American literature, media studies, and nature writing. For the Honors College he has taught a course titled Survivor Culture, which investigates Americans’ persistent fascination with narratives of survival from Robinson Crusoe to Hurricane Katrina.

Select Publications

BookPrint Technology in Scotland and America, 1740–1800 (Bucknell
University Press, 2013)

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters –

"Romantic Recycling: The Global Economy and Secondhand Language in
Equiano's Interesting Narrative and the Letters of the Sierra Leone Settlers," with Debbie Lee (Co-Author), Romanticism and Globalization, edited by Evan Gottlieb (Accepted for inclusion in the collection. Under Consideration at Bucknell University Press) (11,525 words)

"'What's Love Got To Do With It?': Sympathy, Antipathy, and the Unsettling
of Colonial American History in Film," A Companion to the Historical Film, edited by Robert A. Rosenstone and Constantin Parvulescu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 513–539. (11,282 words)

"'Art Transforms the Savage Face of Things': Scottish Identity & the '45
Jacobite Rebellion in James Grainger's West-Indian Georgic, The Sugar Cane," Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, Volume 16, Issue 1 (April 2012), 95–112. (6,565 words)

"Anti-Slavery Poetry," The Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature, Frederick
Burwick, Nancy Goslee, and Diane Hoeveler, editors (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2012), 38–47 (5,291 words)

"Periodical Visitations": Yellow Fever as Yellow Journalism in Charles
Brockden Brown's Arthur Mervyn," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 19:3 (Spring 2007), 307–340.

Works in Progress

Book – Invasive Species: The Economy and Ecology of Transatlantic
'Empire Writing'

Article – "Brandy & Iron: The Nature of Things in Mungo Park's Travels
In The Interior Districts of Africa"











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