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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I came to LSU immediately after finishing my Ph.D. at Duke University in 1973, and I've been here ever since, with the exception of one year in France at the Université de Lille as a Fulbright lecturer.
What brought you to LSU?The offer of an assistant professor position in English.
What is your research interest?My current interests are American literary nation-building, 1820-1850; Edgar Allan Poe; slavery and "the South" as an antebellum literary construction; Black Hawk; James Fenimore Cooper; and the early American novel. I am also interested in Ernest Hemingway and modern masculinity, and Paris and modernism.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?Before I retire, I want to complete my book "Illusions of National Destiny," edit a volume on the American novel to 1870 for the Oxford History of the Novel in English, and help to create a digital humanities research site at LSU called "Poe's Republic of Letters: Remapping Antebellum Print Culture."
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy my eager students, my wonderful colleagues and this incredibly beautiful campus.
What are your major accomplishments?Creating a passion for American literature in two generations of LSU students; publishing six books on Edgar Allan Poe; publishing "Imagining Paris;" winning a Guggenheim Fellowship; founding the LSU in Paris program in 1981 and helping so many students discover France over 20-plus years; and appearing in the forthcoming PBS film," Paris: The Luminous Years."