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Department of English ESQ: About Us


Karen Kilcup, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Managing Editor:

Johanna Heloise Abtahi

Editorial Consultant:

Laura Kuhlman

Year In Conferences Coordinator:

LuElla D’Amico, University of the Incarnate Word


A.E. Grey, 2003-2015

Advisory Board:

Michael Millner
Vivian Pollak
John Ernest
Eliza Richards
Lara Cohen
Gretchen Murphy
Claudia Stokes
Maurice Lee
Martha Schoolman
Edward Whitley
Janet Dean
Cody Marrs
Angela Sorby
Michael Cohen
Susan K. Harris
Barbara McCaskill
Alfred Bendixen
Kerry Larson
Caroline Yang
Tim Sweet
Sarah Ruffing Robbins
Sari Edelstein
Donna Campbell
Laura Mielke
Christopher Freeburg
Marissa López

Mission Statement


The oldest professional journal encompassing nineteenth-century American literature, ESQ began by focusing on the American Renaissance’s traditional figures, and it continues to embrace scholarship that emphasizes Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, and Hawthorne. Over time it has expanded its scope to include nineteenth-century American literature and culture more broadly, publishing essays on such subjects as women’s health, ship captain’s wives’ diaries, and transatlantic land claims, and on such writers as Lydia Maria Child, James McClune Smith, George Lippard, William Wells Brown, Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Piatt. ESQ invites essays that illuminate any aspect of American literature and culture in the long nineteenth century. Submissions that foreground writers/subjects/texts outside the 1800-1899 period should ideally connect to that era’s concerns: thus, those that begin before 1800 might explore how a writer or movement anticipates or helps inaugurate an idea, genre, or concern that only later emerges fully, while contributors focusing after 1899 might indicate how a nineteenth-century writer/idea/genre exerts continuing authority. The journal also welcomes submissions that conceptualize alternative American renaissances; that focus on Southern, Western, or Midwestern literatures; or that explore one or more ethnic American literatures. While ESQ encompasses such familiar theoretical approaches as new historicism, reader response criticism, biographical criticism, borderlands studies, ethnic studies, and cultural studies, it encourages submissions that feature newer methodologies, including ecocriticism, transnationalism, animal studies, disability studies, materialist feminism, mobility studies, periodical studies, anthology studies, and affect studies. We also seek proposals for special issues that address a coherent subject area or exemplify a particular theoretical approach.