College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Kirk McAuley
Associate 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 from the colonial period to 1900, Transatlantic Studies, Travel and Empire Writing, Print Culture, Film Studies, and Environmental Criticism.

McAuley's first book, Print Technology in Scotland and America, 17401800 (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2013), 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. In it, he reveals how seemingly disparate events, including journalism and literary forgery, were important deployments of print not as a liberation technology, but as a mediator of political tensions. 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 Bucknell University Press's Transits: Literature, Thought, and Culture, 16501850 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 Jamaica and American Antiquarian Society, McAuley has broken ground on a second book project, tentatively titled Invasive Species: The Economy and Ecology of British Empire Writing. This new project aims not only to increase our understanding of the historical legacy of current ecological problems, but also to explore new connections between, say, James Grainger's The Sugar-Cane and Robert Louis Stevenson's Island Nights' Entertainments and what ecologists today commonly refer to as invasion biology. To achieve this goal, McAuley proposes to closely investigate the interfaces of nature and culture in travel literature, Caribbean newspapers and magazines, natural histories, early geographical and cultural atlases of Africa, almanacs, slave narratives, georgic poetry, and several fictions of empire, including Sydney Owenson's The Missionary: An Indian Tale and Robert Louis Stevenson's South Sea tales.

McAuley has taught a variety of courses in eighteenth-century British and early American literature, including surveys and seminars in transatlantic studies, print culture, literature and the environment, and the history of media. 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.


Selected Publications

Print Technology Book Cover


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

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book 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), Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760 - 1820, edited by Evan Gottlieb (Bucknell University Press, Forthcoming Fall 2014)

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

"'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.

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

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

Essays Under Contract

"'Calcutta Still Haunts My Imagination': The Confusion of Old and New World Ecologies in Early Caribbean Literature," Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies, edited by Andrew Taylor, Clare Elliot, and Leslie Eckel (Edinburgh University Press, Forthcoming 2016)











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