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Jason Berger

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Jason Berger is a professor of 19th century American literature and critical theory. He is the author of "Xenocitizens: Illiberal Ontologies in Nineteenth-Century America" (Fordham University Press, 2020), which offers a new approach toward antebellum political personhood that challenges liberal-humanist perspectives, and "Antebellum at Sea: Maritime Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century America" (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), which was nominated for the MLA First Book Prize and explores how maritime narratives negotiated developing global realities. He is currently working on a book titled, “Whale Undone: Ecologies of Actuality.”

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  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut
  • M.A., University of Vermont
  • B.S., Central Connecticut State University

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Research Interests

Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Critical Theory (Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Posthumanism, Queer Theory, New Materialism), Environmental Humanities

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  • "Xenocitizens: Illiberal Ontologies in Nineteenth-Century America" (Fordham University Press, 2020)
  • "Antebellum at Sea: Maritime Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century America" (University of Minnesota Press, 2012)
  • "Whale Undone: Ecologies of Actuality" (In progress)

Selected Articles & Chapters

  • “Insurgencies from There There.” MELUS (forthcoming)
  • “Roberto Bolaño’s Moby-Dick: Unflattening Formalism.” Cultural Critique 107 (Spring 2020): 29-62.
  • “Emerson’s Operative Mood: Religious Sentiment and Violence in the Early Works.” Studies in Romanticism 54 (Winter 2015): 477-502.
  • “Travel.” Ralph Waldo Emerson in Context. Ed. Wesley T. Mott. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 49-56.
  • “The Political Fantastic: Žižek, Fantasy, and a New Autonomous Aesthetics.” The Minnesota Review 79 (October 2012): 53-77.
  • “Antebellum Fantasies of the Common Sailor; or, Enjoying the Knowing Jack Tar.” Criticism 51.1 (Winter 2009): 29-61.
  • “Killing Tom Coffin: Rethinking the Nationalist Narrative in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pilot.” Early American Literature 43.3 (November 2008): 643-671.
  • “Refiguring O’Neill’s Early Sea Plays: Maritime Labor Enters the Age of Modernity.” The Eugene O’Neill Review 28 (May 2006): 13-31.

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