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About Steven Olsen-Smith

Dr. Steven Olsen-Smith received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware in 1999 and joined the faculty of the Department of English at Boise State University in 2000. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American literature and methods of literary research.
Dr. Olsen-Smith's research centers on American authors Herman Melville and Walt Whitman. He is a nationally recognized expert on Melville’s life and writings, and the primary scholar responsible for tracking the recovery of Melville’s dispersed personal library of approximately 1,000 books. He is also the editor of an interactive website devoted to the marginalia of the 19th century author, "Melville’s Marginalia Online".


Present Professor, Department of English, Boise State University

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Honors and Awards

  • 2009-2010: Boise State University Arts and Humanities Research Grant
  • 2008 & 2010: Honored Faculty Member for Boise State University Top Ten Scholar
  • 2006: Outstanding English Faculty Award, Sigma Tau Delta and Boise State English Majors Association


  • ENGL 102: Introduction to College Writing and Research
  • ENGL 275: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 277/278: Survey of American Literature
  • ENGL 377: Literature of the American Renaissance
  • ENGL 391: North American Indian Folklore and Literature
  • HONORS 392: Transcendentalism
  • HONORS 392: Melville and Whitman
  • ENGL 424: Special Topics: Moby-Dick
  • ENGL 510: Seminars, Major British or American Writer: Herman Melville, Whitman and Dickinson
  • ENGL 530: Studies in a Literary Period: American Romanticism

Contact Information


Editorial Roles (4)

Contributions to Books (5)

Articles (9)

Presentations (3)

In the News (4)