Emeritus Professor of English
208 English Building
608 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Mark Twain Past and Present includes chapters on autobiography and the crisis of memory;on excursion, tourism, and the Realist demeanor; on how Clemens came to be regarded as a 'literary artist,' and on cultural after-images of Huckleberry Finn. In the summer of 2014 I will complete work as Fulbright Professor of American Literature at the University of Antwerp; in the fall I will teach a capstone course for the UI Campus Honors Program, 'College and the American Self.' Current projects include Mark Twain Past and Present, and a new English edition of selected essays by Clemenceau.
American, early, Fiction, American, later, Poetry, Humor, wit, and comic discourses
Work(s) in Progress
Mark Twain Past and Present; Clemenceau on Monet and the Arts (translator)
For the spring and summer of 2018 I am completing a third comprehensive annual review of scholarship on American humor, wit, and comic discourse and performance; I am also writing invited chapters for books from Blackwell and Cambridge University Press. Another book on Mark Twain (working title: Mark Twain: Past and Present) is on the credenza. I will be at the ALA Conference in San Francisco in late May, and at the symposium on American humor set for Chicago in July.
Specializations / Research Interest(s)
- American Literature; comic dimensions of literary texts; Mark Twain; modern cultural response to breakthroughs in the neurosciences.
Mark Twain Past and Present includes chapters on constructions of identity, autobiography and the crises of memory; on excursion, tourism, and the Realist demeanor; on how Clemens came to be regarded as a 'literary artist,' and on cultural after-images of Huckleberry Finn.
- Ph.D. University of Washington; MA University of Washington; AB Williams College
Distinctions / Awards
- Fulbright Fellowships; Louis J. Budd Award; society presidencies; editorial boards
- Claude Monet: The Water-Lilies, and Other Writings on Art. Urbana, IL: Windsor and Downs, 2017.
- Teaching with the Norton Anthology of American Literature: A Guide for Instructors. WW Norton, 2007.
- Michelson, Bruce. Printer's Devil: Mark Twain and the American Publishing Revolution . University of California Press, 2006.
- Michelson, Bruce F. Literary Wit. University of Massachusetts Press , 2000.
- Michelson, Bruce F. Mark Twain on the Loose: A Comic Writer and the American Self. University of Massachusetts Press , 1995.
- Michelson, Bruce. Wilbur's Poetry. University of Massachusetts Press , 1991.
- "The Mind-Sciences in the Humanities Classroom." he Neuroscientific Turn: Transdisciplinarity in the Age of the Brain. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013.
- "Mark Twain’s Mysterious Strangers and the Motions of the Mind." Centenary Reflections on Mark Twain’s No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
- "The Year's Work in American Humor Studies, 2015." Studies in American Humor (2017):
- "The Year's Work in American Humor Studies, 2013." Studies in American Humor 41.1 (2015): 41-105.
- "Comic Dimensions, Low Theory, High Stakes." Studies in American Humor (2014): 35-43.