John Mac Kilgore

Associate Professor
WMS 324
Early American literature, 18th- and 19th-century US literature, American studies, critical theory and philosophy, literature and politics

JOHN MAC KILGORE, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Davis (2012), is a scholar and teacher of U.S. literature and culture, especially of the early national period and the nineteenth century. Dr. Kilgore’s research broadly looks at literature and liberation—the role of aesthetic labor in political activism, protest, resistance, revolution. Dr. Kilgore’s first book, Mania for Freedom: American Literatures of Enthusiasm from the Revolution to the Civil War (2016), uncovers a U.S. tradition of “literary enthusiasm” that transforms the act of literature into a species of popular revival and revolt linked to emancipatory events. Dr. Kilgore is currently working on two book projects: To Feel Our Union Flow: An Anti-Capitalist Literary History of the Early United States, 1776-1876, and Old Florida Literature and the Politics of Public Memory.


  • “Modern Bigotry: The War for the Ohio, the Whiskey Rebellion, and the Settler Colonial Imagination of the Early Republic,” American Literature in Transition: 1770-1826, edited by William Huntting Howell and Greta LaFleur. Cambridge UP, forthcoming
  • “John Lithgow’s Real Utopia and the Anti-Capitalist Romance of the Early Republic,” Early American Literature 54.1 (2019): 97-133.
  • Mania for Freedom: American Literatures of Enthusiasm from the Revolution to the Civil War (UNC Press, 2016).
  • "Nat Turner and the Work of Enthusiasm," PMLA 130.5 (2015): 1347-62.
  • "Rites of Dissent: Literatures of Enthusiasm and the American Revolution," Early American Literature 48.2 (2013): 367-398.
  • "The Free State of Whitman: Enthusiasm and Dismemberment in the 1860 Leaves of Grass," ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 58.4 (2012): 529-565.
  • "The Cakewalk of Capital in Charles Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition," American Literature 84.1 (2012): 61-87.
  • "Deterritorialization," Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism. Eds. Paul Ardoin, S. E. Gontarski, and Laci Mattison. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014. 416-418.

Publications By This Author