Maura D'Amore Professor of English

Maura D’Amore


Ph.D., English (specialization: American Literature to 1900), with a five-course minor in American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
B.A., Classics and Literatures & Cultures, Brown University

Areas of Expertise:

19th-century American literature and culture, gender studies, American Studies, childhood studies, book history and print-culture studies


My essays have appeared in Pedagogy, J19, New England Quarterly, ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, Studies in American Fiction, Early American Studies, and various edited collections. My book, Suburban Plots: Men at Home in Nineteenth-Century American Print Culture, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in Spring 2014.


How wonderful to sit in a room with students to discuss a text together, to model what it might look like to fall deeply in love with words and ideas and people, to help and encourage students as they dive into narrative worlds. I see my role in the classroom as that of mentor and facilitator in the art of how to do things with books. I want my students to read widely and deeply, to think courageously, to listen carefully and generously, and to voice their discoveries and pleasures. I work to help them cultivate the sort of curiosity about texts that leads to attention and love.

The older I get, the more I want students to understand that thinking happens in the course of working to articulate questions and realizations, whether in the classroom or on the page. I urge them to speak regularly in class discussions, and I emphasize that they don’t have to have it all figured out before they open their mouths or type a sentence. An array of insights and voices makes the classroom a better place, and a college like ours is a lovely, safe space to feel out thoughts and beliefs. When my students begin to recognize their own intelligence and follow the paths that excite them, it’s a joy to witness their unfurling. On the best days, the conversation goes places I never would have anticipated as I made my lesson plan, and students say things that open and shake up my own readings. We ask hard, fascinating questions, and, as a community of readers, we move towards complex answers. AND we have a lot of fun in the process.

Recent News

Maura D’Amore of the English faculty in December shared that McSweeney’s, an “internet tendency” that posts daily humor pieces, “published something by me (and Emily Dickinson). A few weeks ago, while drafting evaluation rubrics for our tenure-track search in English, I started imagining the sorts of criteria that might matter to some of my favorite 19th-century writers. Using the shape of the form given to us by HR, I constellated this version with lines from Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters. McSweeney’s published it just in time for Dickinson’s birthday on December 10!” Also, Maura’s essay ‘Episodic Storytelling: Theorizing Seriality in the Undergraduate Literature Classroom’ was published in the Fall 2022 issue of Pedagogy. The essay has its roots in a senior seminar she taught on serial novels in which the class started all the assigned novels at the beginning of the semester and finished them all at the end, reading and discussing them in their original publication installments.
(posted February 2023)

Maura D’Amore of the English faculty shares that her essay on 19th-century writer, artist, and gardener Celia Thaxter, “‘Something Pathetic as Well as Wonderful’: Celia Thaxter’s Paratextual Interventions,” was published in J19: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.
(posted February 2022)

Maura D’Amore of the English faculty this spring had her “Letters” class sample the letters of Willa Cather, who is most famous for writing O Pioneers! and My Ántonia. A massive library of the writer’s correspondence is available to read on The Willa Cather Archive. Melissa Homestead, professor of English at the University of Nebraska and author of a significant forthcoming book on Cather, The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis (Oxford UP 2021), in March joined Maura’s class to discuss her editorial role in the digitization project and the letters’ historical and academic value … Students in Maura’s class were interested in the potential of Homestead’s work, and the digital archive more broadly, to help scholars piece together important fragments of ignored lesbian history.
(posted July 2021)

Maura D’Amore, associate professor of English, Program Director American Studies, Program Director Gender Studies, signed St. Mike’s on to participate in a Douglass Day national transcription event in February to celebrate the eloquent abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, because, in her words, “I thought it would be a great way for our students, faculty, and staff to come together to help document African-American History and participate in digitization that will help preserve and expand that history for future generations.” Her students joined this celebration of the life and legacy of Douglass, on his chosen birthday, February 14 — on honor of his 200th Birthday in 2018, the Smithsonian Transcription Center and the National Museum of African American History and Culture sponsored a national event to transcribe documents from the Freedman’s Bureau, and Saint Michael’s was one of 64 institutions across America to participate in the event
(posted June 2018)

Maura D’Amore, associate professor of English, program director for American studies and program director, gender studies, presented a paper, “Make Your Own Toys and Rebuild the Nation: Civil-War Era Paper Toy Manuals,” at the 2017 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, at Historic Deerfield, in June. Maura’s paper was one of seven chosen for publication in the 2017 volume, Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife. Maura also presented a paper, “‘We Linger in Manhood to Tell the Dreams of our Childhood’: Thoreau and Children,” at the Thoreau Society Bicentennial, in July 2017; and, she presented a paper, “‘Various Useless and Pleasing Things’: Crafty Children in the Nineteenth Century,” at the Imagined Forms: Modeling and Material Culture Symposium, hosted by the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware and the Hagley Museum & Library, November 2017
(posted December 2017)

Maura D’Amore, assistant professor of English, received a Maine Women Writers Grant from the University of New England to do research there at their archive, which she did in May). Her peer-reviewed essay “Crafty Bricolage: Pinterest as Digital Scrapbooking” appeared in a special issue of NANO (New American Notes Online) on Originality in a Digital Culture, January 2017. She presented a paper on Thoreau at the Nineteenth Century Studies Annual Conference in Charleston, SC, in February.
(posted June 2016)

Maura D’Amore, assistant professor of English, reports a new publication: Her book Suburban Plots: Men at Home in Nineteenth-Century American Print Culture was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in June 2014.
(posted August 2014)