John Mac Kilgore

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

JOHN MAC KILGORE, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Davis (2012), specializes in American literature and culture before 1900, especially from the American Revolution to the Civil War. His research looks at literature's engagement with popular politics—protests, revolutions, public assemblies, insurrections, liberation movements, and reform communities. His book, Mania for Freedom: American Literatures of Enthusiasm from the Revolution to the Civil War, focuses on "political enthusiasm" as a literary, historical, and theoretical discourse linked to American cultures of democratic rebellion.


  • 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.


Fall 2016

AML 5017 (Graduate Course): Writing the Revolution and the Early Republic: American Literature, 1770-1823
ENG 5079 (Graduate Course): Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies

Fall 2015

AML 4111: 19th-Century American Bestsellers
AML 4213: Early American Poetry and Song

Spring 2015

AML 5017 (Graduate Seminar): Melville's Sea Tales
ENL 4934 (Senior Seminar): Blake, Dickinson, Whitman (in the Age of Digital Archives)

Fall 2014

AML 4111: The "Great American Novel" of the 19th Century
ENG 3014: Alice in Theoryland (An Introduction to Critical Theory)

Spring 2014

AML 5017 (Graduate Seminar): Affect Theory and Antebellum American Literature
ENL 4934 (Senior Seminar): American Fantastic Literature: Terror and the Uncanny from Brockden Brown to Lovecraft

Fall 2013

AML 4213: The Age of Feeling: 18th-Century American Literature and the Politics of Enlightenment
AML 3311: The US Literary Revolution of 1850-1855

Publications By This Author