Maura D'Amore English Department Chair, Program Director for American Studies and Gender Studies, Professor of English and American Studies



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:

literary geographies, print culture, gender studies, and American Studies.


My essays have appeared in New England Quarterly, ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, Studies in American Fiction, and Early American Studies. My book, Suburban Plots: Men at Home in Nineteenth-Century American Print Culture, is forthcoming from the University of Massachusetts Press in Spring 2014, and I’ve begun work on a second book project, currently titled The Architecture of Sympathy: Situated Encounters in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.


Whenever possible, I enrich close readings with conversations about cultural artifacts and historical contexts. Interpretation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin benefits from a discussion of blackface minstrelsy and a focus on the ways in which Stowe’s characters were re-imagined in popular culture through songs, plays, advertisements, and political movements. A short introduction to early photography propels analysis of character and the romance genre in The House of the Seven Gables, as students hold daguerreotypes to the light and attempt to see faces appear momentarily on a mirrored surface. My senior seminar on literary geographies positioned a study of narrative shapes within considerations of people’s relationships to architectural space, whether it be Huck’s raft, an attic with yellow wallpaper, Thomas Sutpen’s plantation, or an immigrant’s room in a boardinghouse.

While my research focuses on mid nineteenth-century American literature, I have strong grounding in American literature from European contact through the end of the nineteenth century. I also have expertise and experience in Digital Humanities. From American literature surveys to upper-level seminars, I encourage students to explore the potential of digital tools such as electronic and hyperlinked editions of texts, online databases, discussion forums, and virtual recreations of spaces to facilitate more nuanced understandings of the literature they read. I added English 385: Digital Literary Studies to the college curriculum, a course that explores the range and ramifications of what is now being recognized by scholars as a “new media encounter” between the literary and the digital. As we assessed technology’s impact on the field of English through our readings, discussions, and presentations in the first iteration of the course, we were especially interested in questions of how the realm of the digital is reshaping educational theory and scholarly practice. At the same time, our focus on nineteenth-century American literature helped us remain attentive to the fact that reading experiences have always been mediated by technologies of some kind or another. Throughout the semester, I asked students to actively utilize technology as a tool to hone and enhance both their close reading and distant reading skills and to reflect upon the extent to which cultural, possibly generational, proclivities might influence reading habits and analytic perspectives. In the process, we considered what we mean by “the literary” and how technology complicates our sense of that term.

Recent News

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)