Randall Knoper is associate professor of English. He received his B.A. in English
from the University of Iowa (1977), and his M.A. in English (1981) and Ph.D. in English
and American Studies (1986) from Indiana University. He previously taught at Lafayette
College and has taught at the University of Massachusetts since 1990. He was director of
American Studies from 1997 to 2000, director of undergraduate studies in English from
2000 to 2006, and associate chair of the department from 2006 to 2009. He is now, once
again, director of American Studies. He is the recipient of the university's
Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, the Outstanding Teacher Award and the Distinguished
Faculty Service Award from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and other awards,
grants, and fellowships.
The author of Acting Naturally: Mark Twain in the Culture of Performance (1995)—a book
about Twain, popular theater, and ideas of theatricality and performance—his interests
have been in the relations among literature, other cultural formations, and society.
These interests, along with his commitment to interdisciplinary study, are continued in
his current book project on American literature and the sciences of the brain and nervous
His research and teaching interests include American Studies and interdisciplinarity,
nineteenth and early twentieth-century American literature and culture, and the relations
between the humanities and the sciences.
Mark Twain and American Culture
Literature, Science, Neurophysiology
American Literature and Culture