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About Randall Knoper

Randall Knoper is an associate professor of English and chair of the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 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 has been the director of American Studies (1997-2000), director of undergraduate studies in English (2000-2006, 2009-2016), and associate chair of the department (2006-2009). He has been chair of the department since fall 2016. 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 Mark Twain, popular theater, and ideas of theatricality and performance—his work has been concerned with the relations among literature, other cultural formations, and society. These concerns, 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 system.

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.


Present Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Contact Information

Bartlett Hall, Rm 252
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst MA, 01003


Mark Twain and American Culture (4)

Literature, Science, Neurophysiology (4)

American Literature and Culture (4)

Composition Theory (1)