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College of Arts and Humanities

Dominic Mastroianni

Dominic Mastroianni

Associate Professor, American literature

Department of English
Office: 608 Strode

Ph.D. English, Emory University; M.A. English, Georgetown University; B.A. Psychology, Georgetown University

Curriculum Vitae


19th-Century US Literature, Transcendentalism, History of Philosophy

Dominic Mastroianni teaches and writes about American literature as well as nineteenth-century intellectual history and the history of philosophy. He is the author of Politics and Skepticism in Antebellum American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2014). The book frames antebellum and Civil War literature within the history of modern philosophical skepticism, ranging from Descartes and Hume to Levinas and Cavell, and argues that its political significance lies only partially in its most overt engagements with political issues like slavery, revolution, reform, and war. He is now writing Transcendental Intimacies, a study of Emerson’s and Thoreau’s ideas about what it means to think together. Mastroianni’s essays have appeared in The Norton Critical Edition of Pierre, American Literary History, Studies in American Fiction, and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Hennig Cohen Prize in Melville Studies.


Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Politics and Skepticism in Antebellum American Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

“Perfectionist Pierre.” In The New Melville Studies. Ed. Cody Marrs. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

“Transcendentalism Without Escape,” American Literary History 31, no. 3 (2019): 575–585.

“Revolutionary Time and Democracy’s Causes in Melville’s Pierre.” In Herman Melville, Pierre; or, The Ambiguities. Ed. Robert S. Levine and Cindy Weinstein. Norton Critical Edition (Norton, 2017)

"Astonishing Politics: Emerson, Levinas, and Thinking Beyond Virility." Comparative Literature 66, no. 3 (2014): 301-21.

"Hospitality and the Thresholds of the Human in Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym." Studies in American Fiction 40, no. 2 (2013): 185-202.

"Revolutionary Time and the Future of Democracy in Melville's Pierre." ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 56, no. 4 (2011): 391-423. Winner of the 2012 Hennig Cohen Prize, awarded by The Melville Society for "excellence in scholarship and writing in an article or book chapter on Melville."

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