J Gerald Kennedy
Boyd Professor of English (Emeritus)
Ph.D., Duke University
J. Gerald Kennedy, Boyd Professor of English Emeritus, is a former chair of the Department of English. In 1973, he earned his PhD from Duke University and took a position at LSU. A Fulbright Junior Lectureship in France in 1978-79 encouraged him to establish LSU in Paris, a summer program he directed intermittently from 1981-99. His books include The Astonished Traveler: William Darby, Frontier Geographer and Man of Letters (LSU Press, 1981); Poe, Death, and the Life of Writing (Yale, 1987); Imagining Paris: Exile, Writing, and American Identity (Yale 1993); a second book on Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and the Abyss of Interpretation (Twayne, 1994); and a broad-scale cultural history, Strange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of Poe (Oxford, 2016). He has also edited Modern American Short Story Sequences (Cambridge, 1995), A Historical Guide to Edgar Allan Poe (Oxford, 2001), The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (Penguin, 2006), The Life of Black Hawk (Penguin Classics, 2008), and a Norton Critical Edition of Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time (2022). He has likewise co-edited French Connections: Hemingway and Fitzgerald Abroad (St. Martins, 1998); Romancing the Shadow: Poe and Race (Oxford, 2001); Poe and the Remapping of Antebellum Print Culture (LSU Press, 2012); The American Novel to 1870 (Oxford 2014); and The Oxford Handbook of Edgar Allan Poe (2019). He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as a Louisiana Atlas Grant and two Taylor Fellowships from the University of Virginia. His ongoing projects include a cultural biography of Poe and a co-edited volume (The Final Years, 1957-61) for the ongoing Cambridge edition of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway.
Area(s) of Interest
Scholarly interests: antebellum cultural history; nationalism and populism; literary modernism; digital humanities; Poe; Hemingway; Fitzgerald