William Gleason

Professor of English, Chair, Department of English
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
71 McCosh Hall, Room 22

William Gleason specializes in American literature and culture. His research and teaching interests range from the 18th century to the present, with particular emphasis on the late 19th/early 20th century, and include American Studies, African American and multi-ethnic U.S. literatures, material culture, popular culture, children’s literature, architecture, literature and environment, popular romance, and leisure. He is the author of The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840-1940 (Stanford University Press, 1999) and Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature (New York University Press, 2011), which was named one of three runners-up for the 2011 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the Best Book in American Studies by the American Studies Association. Gleason has also published essays on such writers as Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, T. S. Arthur, Hannah Crafts, Charles Chesnutt, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edith Wharton, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, and Charles Johnson. He is currently working on three new book projects: Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture (with Joni Adamson and David Pellow); Romance Fiction and American Culture (with Eric Murphy Selinger); and The Pocket Instructor: Literature (with Diana Fuss). He teaches courses on American literary history, popular literature, children’s literature, place and environment, and sport and society, as well as the English Department’s graduate seminar on pedagogy. In 2006, Gleason received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the McGraw Center Graduate Mentoring Award.