Assistant Professor, English
Professor Spencer Tricker specializes in American literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While this literature has traditionally been studied in view of transatlantic cultural contexts, Professor Tricker’s work emphasizes transpacific connections among the Americas, East and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. His manuscript-in-progress, Imminent Communities: Liberal Cosmopolitanism and Empire in Transpacific Literature, studies the uses and abuses of cosmopolitan rhetoric and feeling in the work of writers and public figures from the United States, Canada, the Philippines, and Hawai‘i. He currently teaches a seminar called “Transpacific Crossings in Nineteenth-Century American Literature” and is developing another one that will explore comparative conceptions of race in nineteenth-century America, which is too often understood in terms of a simple Black/White racial binary. Other courses include a historical survey of American literature from the mid-eighteenth through early twentieth centuries and a course on the theme of “divided loyalties” in literature and popular culture.
Forthcoming. “Immigration: ‘The Chinese Question’ in Economics, Law, and Literature.” The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Politics, ed. John Kerkering. Cambridge University Press.
Forthcoming. “Emerson, Asia, and ‘the Progress of Culture.’” The New Cambridge Companion to Emerson, ed. Michael Jonik. Cambridge University Press.
“Philippines / United States: David Fagen Defects to the Filipino Army, 1899.” Crossings in Nineteenth-Century American Culture: Junctures of Time, Space, Self and Politics, ed. Edward Sugden. Edinburgh University Press, 2022.
“Pan’s Burden: Intertextual Aesthetics and Illiberal Cosmopolitanism in Sui Sin Far’s Eurasian Stories.” American Literary Realism 52.3 (2020): 234-63.
“‘Five Dusky Phantoms’: Gothic Form and Cosmopolitan Shipwreck in Melville’s Moby-Dick.” Studies in American Fiction 44.1 (2017): 1-26. [Awarded the Melville Society’s annual Hennig Cohen Prize for best article, book chapter, or essay in a book about Herman Melville.]
Challenge. Change. Podcast episode: "Coming of Age Stories and Confronting Divided Loyalties with Professor Spencer Tricker" (2023)
With Good Reason Podcast episode: "Asian American/Pacific Islander Summer Reading Recs" (2021)
C19 Podcast episode: "Staying with the Hypothesis: Getting Started with Digital Humanities Research and Pedagogy" (2020)
- Ph.D., University of Miami, 2018
- M.A., University of Central Florida, 2012
- B.A., New York University, 2009
Awards & Grants
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship