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Dr. Scott Reznick

I study, teach and write about nineteenth-century U.S. literature. I am particularly interested in the connections between literature, philosophy and political life. My first book, Political Liberalism and the Rise of American Romanticism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), reexamines the relationship between two of modernity’s most important intellectual traditions. It shows how American Romanticism developed in response to pervasive conflicts over democracy’s moral dimensions in the early republic and antebellum eras. By recovering the long-under-examined tradition of political liberalism for literary studies, this book traces how U.S. writers reacted to ongoing moral and political conflict by engaging with liberal thinkers and ideas. Those philosophical engagements, I argue, prompted U.S. writers’ increasing embrace of Romantic literary modes that emphasized the imagination’s capacity for creative synthesis and its role shoring up the habits of mind and feeling that are vital to a meaningful democratic culture — especially as it concerns how we engage with people who see the world differently.

My literary scholarship and other writing have also appeared in Early American Literature, ESQ, Arizona Quarterly, American Political Thought, Forma de Vida, and The Hedgehog Review online.

  • Education
    • Ph.D., English, Boston College
    • M.A., English, Trinity College
    • B.S., Mathematics, Dickinson College
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