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About Brian Yothers

I teach early and nineteenth-century American literature at the University of Texas at El Paso, where I am the Frances Spatz Leighton Endowed Distinguished Professor of English and Associate Chair of the Department of English, and where I served as Director of Literature from 2010-2014. I earned my Ph.D. in English from Purdue University in 2004, and I am the author of The Romance of the Holy Land in American Travel Writing, 1790-1876 (Ashgate, 2007), Melville's Mirrors: Literary Criticism and America's Most Elusive Author (Camden House, 2011), Sacred Uncertainty: Religious Difference and the Shape of Melville's Career (Northwestern UP, 2015), and Reading Abolition: The Critical Reception of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass (Camden House, 2016). I am the editor of Billy Budd, Sailor: Critical Insights (Salem, 2017), and, with Jonathan A. Cook, of Visionary of the Word: Melville and Religion (Northwestern, 2017). I am Associate Editor of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, an associate editor at Melville’s Marginalia Online, a co-editor of the travel section of the Melville Electronic Library, the series editor for the Literary Criticism in Perspective series at Camden House Press, and a co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Journeys. I am at work on an edited collection (with Harold K. Bush) of essays on religion and spirituality in mid-nineteenth-century American literature and editions of The Piazza Tales and Benito Cereno. I have begun the work of developing future projects dealing with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Fireside Poets, the literary cultures of American missionaries, and the role of religion and the antislavery movement in American poetry. My research interests include the global aspects of American literature, religion and literature, literary history and biography, literature and epistemology, and the literature of reform and abolitionism. I teach courses on early and nineteenth-century American literature, literary non-fiction, poetry, Gothic fiction, and the novel. I have taught major author courses on Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry David Thoreau.


Present Associate Chair of English, University of Texas at El Paso
Present Professor of English, University of Texas at El Paso


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Honors and Awards

  • University of Texas Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, 2014
  • Frances Spatz Leighton Endowed Distinguished Professorship, 2015-

Books (7)

Articles (17)

Video (1)