Dr. Jonathan Vincent

Associate Professor


Contact Information

LA 4336


Ph.D. University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 2011
Graduate Certificate in Social Theory, University of Kentucky, 2004
MA James Madison University, 1999
BA, Asbury University, 1995

Areas of Expertise

U.S. Literature


My teaching and research focus mostly on US literature and culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining the study of literature with interests in critical social theory, American intellectual history, and aesthetic and political philosophy, my teaching and writing typically manifest as “interpretive cultural history.” At Towson, I teach the ENGL 238 American Literature Survey (1620-present) and the ENGL 300 “Methods and Research” course (usually focused on the American Novel) almost every semester. I also teach “Development of the American Novel: 19th Century,” “Development of the American Novel: 20th Century,” “Multi-Ethnic US Literature,” “American Literature of the Realistic Period,” “American Literary Modernism,” and “Literature of the Atomic Age.” On occasion, I offer special topics courses or period-based studies in African American literature.

My research is preoccupied with the relationship of American literary culture to various dilemmas of US political organization—conflicts between democratic rights and civic obligations, between competing conceptions of “sovereignty,” between an evolving and dynamic “liberal tradition” and the changing organizations of state power. My book, “The Health of the State: Modern US War Narrative and the American Political Imagination, 1890-1964,” examines the relationship of writing about military conflict in particular to these developments in US political discourse: the militarization of progressivism at the turn of the century, the internationalization of liberalism during World War I, and the pluralization of identity politics from the New Deal through World War II and the Cold War. Portions of this project have appeared in American Literature, American Quarterly, and The Cambridge History of American Women’s Literature.


American Studies Association, Annual Meeting: “Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward and Ethics of Collective Dissent.” Paper: “A Sudden, Bright Anger: Maritta Wolff and Working-Class Dissent during the US Mobilization for World War II.” Panel: “Against Debt, Dependence, and Disenfranchisement: Dissent in American Indian, Working-Class, and Women’s Writing.” Washington DC (November 2013).

American Literature Association, Symposium on Literature and War. Paper: “Preparedness Nation: American Novels of the US Civil War and the Revision of Military Memory, 1890-1914.” New Orleans, LA (October 2013).

Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. Paper: “’for some beyond’: US Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and the Literature of International Commitment.” Louisville, KY (February 2013).

American Studies Association. Annual Meeting: “Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Past, Present, and Future.” Paper: “Inventing Preparedness: Touring U.S. Occupied Cuba, Domestic Social Reform, and the Culture of American Militarization.” Panel: “Touring for Culture: U.S. Tourists and the Formation of Empire in the Early Twentieth Century.” San Juan, Puerto Rico (November 2012).

Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Annual Meeting. Paper: “Ode on an Urchin Green: Student Activism and the Radical Archive in the Composition Classroom.” Panel: “The Struggle of Memory against Forgetting.” New Orleans, LA (April 2008).

American Studies Association. Annual Meeting (“The United States from Inside and Out: Transnational American Studies”). Paper: “Left Behind in America: The Army of One at the End of History.” Panel: “Popular Culture in the ‘Global War on Terror’.” Oakland, CA (October 2006).

Selected Publications:


The Health of the State: Modern US War Narrative and the American Political Imagination, 1890-1964 (forthcoming, Oxford UP).


“A Peculiar Sovereignty: Antifascist US Literature and the Liberal Warfare State, 1936-1951.” American Quarterly 66.2 (June 2014): 361-83.

America e Italia”: US World War II Novels and the Occupation of Italy” (solicited). Fictions XIII (Summer 2014): 17-30.

“’Tendrils of Association’: World War I Narrative and the U.S. Political Imaginary.” American Literature 82.3 (September 2010): 553-81.

Book Chapters

“Masculinity.” American Literature in Transition, 1910-1920. Ed. Mark Van Wienen (Cambridge, forthcoming). 7,000 words.

“Women Writers and War.” The Cambridge History of American Women’s Writing. Ed. Dale Bauer (Cambridge 2012): 80-125.

“Left Behind in America: The Army of One at the End of History.” Reframing 9/11: Popular Culture in the Global War on Terror. Eds. Anna Froula, Jeff Birkenstein, and Karen Randell (Continuum 2010): 45-55.

“The Red Badge of Courage.” Americans at War: Society, Culture, and the Homefront. Volume II: 1816- 1900 (Macmillan 2004).


“A Call to Arms in an Age of Educational Acquiescence.” Book Review: Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Post Civil Rights Era, by Henry and Susan Searls Giroux. Pedagogy (Winter 2006): 189-98.


American Studies Association

Modern Language Association

American Literature Association

American Association of University Professors


Assessment Committee

Advisor to the English Forum

The Leather Apron Club (co-director)