Bruce Michelson

Emeritus Professor of English

  • 208 English Building
    MC-718
    608 S. Wright Street
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • 217-244-0922
  • brucem@illinois.edu

Research Interests

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.

Specialty

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)

Biography

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.

Research Description

  • 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.  

Education

  • Ph.D. University of Washington; MA University of Washington; AB Williams College

Distinctions / Awards

  • Fulbright Fellowships; Louis J. Budd Award; society presidencies; editorial boards

Publications

Books

  • 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.

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Book Contributions

  • "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.

Journal Articles

  • "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.

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