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Bert EmersonBert Emerson

Associate Professor
300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.3267
Fax: 509.777.None listed
Office Location: Westminster Hall 134

My studies range broadly in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth century and draw upon a variety of disciplinary investments: literary aesthetics; critical theory; regionalisms/nationalisms/transnationalisms; post-colonial theory; global American souths; and material history (esp. book and print culture history). My current project, Local Rules: Misfit American Literature and its Alternative Democracies, 1828-1861, examines one set of misfits in U.S. literary history: prose fictions with greater investments in the local than canonical contemporaries best known for supplementing the idea of the nation. As a teacher, I strive to design mindful learning experiences and foster a dynamic environment promoting the open exchange of ideas. Students in my courses can expect a variety of methods and activities that spark lively engagement with texts and contexts.


BA - University of the South

MA - California State University Long Beach

PhD - Claremont Graduate University

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

•Early & 19th Century American Literature •Theories of Democracy •Regionalism, nationalism, imperialism, and post-colonialism •History of the Book and Print Culture in America •History of Aesthetics

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors


”George Lippard’s The Quaker City: Disjointed Text, Dismembered Bodies, Regenerated Democracy.” Nineteenth-Century Literature, June 2015 (70.1): 102-131. “‘This is a strange book’: Re-membering Local Democratic Agency in Bird’s Sheppard Lee.” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, June 2015 (61.2): 222-261. “‘It’s Good to be Shifty’: The Local Democracies of Old Southwestern Humor.” American Literature, June 2013 (85.2): 273-301.


“‘Little Jackie Made it Stick, All Right’: The Implicating Narrative of Jack Burden.” Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. Dialogue Series #15. Eds. Michael J. Meyer & Hugh Ingrasci (Rodopi Press, 2012), 201-220.


“Lights Out”: A Review of Huck Out West, A Boy’s Tale. Robert Coover. Norton, 2017. Los Angeles Review of Books. 10 January 2017. “Imitatio Americana”: A Review of Against Self-Reliance: The Arts of Dependence in the Early United States. William Hunting Howell. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. Los Angeles Review of Books. 17 March 2016. “She Really Wants to Dance.” Teaching Review of The Factory Girl (1814) at “Just Teach One.” (American Antiquarian Society), August 2014. “Free Speech: Or, Movement of a Kind.” (a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books), 2 July 2013. Awards and Honors William S. Reese Fellowship, The Huntington Library William S. Reese Fellowship in American Bibliography and the History of the Book, The Bancroft Library (UC Berkeley) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Library Company of Philadelphia