Karen Kilcup Karen Kilcup

Contact Information

Office: MHRA 3314


Ph.D. Brandeis University
M.A. Brandeis University
M.A. University of New Hampshire
B.A. Wellesley College

Research Interests

Professor Kilcup has broad research and teaching interests in 19th- and early 20th-century American literature; she has published over 1,500,000 words of American literature scholarship (excluding primary works) with 35 presses and journals.  Her intellectual project aims to reintegrate fractured literary traditions, reshape literary orthodoxies, and highlight the durable power of affective literature.  Kilcup’s interests in contemporary American literary and cultural theory include affect studies, ecocriticism, genre theory, and anthology theory. Her current research focuses on nineteenth-century American poetry, environmental literature, women’s writing, and children’s literature. For more detail about Professor Kilcup’s research, as well as her teaching and service, see

Selected Publications

  • Over the River and Through the Wood: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Poetry, coedited with Angela Sorby (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2014).
  • Fallen Forests: Emotion, Embodiment, and Ethics in American Women’s Environmental Writing, 1781-1924 (Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013).
  •  “Writing against Wilderness: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Elite Environmental Justice”
    Western American Literature 47.4 (Winter 2013): 361-85
  • “Frado Taught a Naughty Ram: Animal and Human Natures in Our Nig
    ELH: English Literary History 79 (Summer 2012): 341-68.
  • “Fresh Leaves’: Practicing Environmental Criticism.” PMLA 124.3 (May 2009): 847-56.

Awards and Honors

  • UNCG Senior Research Excellence Award, 2011-2012.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, 2010-2011. Special recognition for advancing the goals of the We the People Project.
  • President, Society for the Study of American Women Writers, 2004-2010 (elected).
  • Edna and Jordan Davidson Eminent Scholar Chair in the Humanities, Florida International University, 2000.
  • Nominee, Lowell Book Prize, for Robert Frost and Feminine Literary Tradition, MLA, 1999.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1996-97.
  • Dorothy M. Healy Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Studies, Westbrook College, 1996.
  • Distinguished Teacher, The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and The National Education Association, 1987.


Karen Kilcup's Website 
Society for the Study of American Women Writers


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