Henry Sanborn Noyes Professor of Literature
University Hall Room 408
Telephone: (847) 491-3097
Fax: (847) 467-1545
Betsy Erkkilä (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is the Henry Sanborn Noyes Professor of Literature. Her teaching and research are in the field of American literary and cultural studies, with a particular interest in American poetry, comparative American cultures, race and gender studies, and cultural and political theory. She has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Fulbright Foundation. She is the author of Mixed Bloods and Other American Crosses: Essays on American Literature and Culture; The Wicked Sisters: Women Poets, Literary History, and Discord; Whitman the Political Poet; and Walt Whitman Among the French: Poet and Myth.
She has published a number of essays and articles on American literature and culture, including "Before the American Novel" is the lead essay in The Oxford History of the American Novel (Oxford UP, 2013); "Lincoln in International Memory" is in The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln (Cambridge UP, 2012); "Perverting the American Renaissance: Poe, Democracy, Critical Theory" is in Poe and American Culture (LSU University Press, 2011); "Whitman, Melville, and the Tribulations of Democracy" is in A Companion to American Literature and Culture (Blackwell Publishing, 2010); "Radical Jefferson," an invited response to Michael Hardt's "Jefferson and Democracy" is in American Quarterly (June 2007); and "Whitman, Marx, and the American 1848" is in Walt Whitman: The Sequicentennial Essays (2007).
She is co-editor (with Jay Grossman) of Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies, and editor of a new Riverside edition of Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Writings. She is currently working on a study of American revolutionary writing.