Dr. Jonathan Vincent, PhD


Associate Professor


Contact Info

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 on US literature and culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining the study of literature with interests in modern critical 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.”

My research is preoccupied with the relationship of US literary culture to various dilemmas of American 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 (2017), 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. In more recent years, these interests have fleshed out further in numerous related articles and book chapters for Cambridge literary histories.


Selected Publications


The Health of the State: Modern US War Narrative and the American Political Imagination, 1890-1964 (Oxford 2017)

Book Chapters

“War.” The Cambridge Companion to American Modernism. Ed. Mark Whalen. (Cambridge 2023): 6,000 words.

“Patriotism, Nationalism, Globalism.” War and American Literature. Ed. Jennifer Haytock (Cambridge 2021): 6,000 words.

“The Nation: Forging One, Finding Many.” A History of American Literature and Culture of World War One. Eds. Tim Dayton and Mark Van Wienen (Cambridge 2021): 5,000 words.

“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.

Articles and Essay-Reviews:

American Literary History, Essay-Review, “Fighting for Real: Truth and American War Memory.” (Fall 2023): 3,955 words.

“The Theme of War in American Literary Studies: A Testimony for Our Time” (solicited for themed symposium). Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics. 47 (2022): 4,283 words.

American Literary History, Essay-Review, “The Culture of the (Permanent, Global) Cold War (on Terror)” (Summer 2020): 4,723 words.

“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.


Modernism/Modernity, Book Review, “Mark Whalan’s World War One, American Literature, and the Federal State” (Fall 2020).

 ALH Online Review, “Joseph North’s Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History” (Fall 2018).

 ALH Online Review, “Mark Greif’s The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973” (Fall 2016, 1524 words).