Kirk McAuley



Kirk McAuley received his Ph.D. in British and American literature from the State University of New York, University at Buffalo in 2006. Since then he has taught in the Expository Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma, and the Division of Humanities at New College (the honors college) of Florida. He joined the English Department at WSU in August 2008.

McAuley is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, UK (2015 – 2016), and he was a Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville, VA (May 2011). McAuley received an ASECS-Keough Naughton Institute for Irish Studies Summer Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame in 2018, and he is currently the Lawrence Ruff Visiting Chair in Eighteenth-Century Studies (Fall 2019) at the University of Dayton.

Research / Teaching Interests

Eighteenth-Century Studies, British and American Literature & Culture from the colonial period to 1900, Transatlantic Studies, Travel and Empire Writing, Ecology, Environmental Criticism, Print Culture, and Film Studies.

Drawing upon archival materials gathered during a UK Fulbright Scholarship at the National Library of Scotland, and several prior grant-funded trips to the National Library of Jamaica and American Antiquarian Society, McAuley’s current book project advances our understanding of the historical and literary legacy of contemporary ecological crises through close investigation of the interfaces of nature and culture in texts composed mainly by Scottish authors residing at the so-called ‘outer limits’ of the British Empire: the Caribbean, Africa, and the South Pacific. Because the Empire was built around the global transfer of animals and plants, McAuley offers biotic readings of this literature, in order to highlight the human place in nature, as well as to provide practical literary examples of the ways in which, as Margaret Cohen suggests, oceans ‘knot together’ both geographical spaces and timelines.

McAuley’s first book, Print Technology in Scotland and America, 1740–1800(Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2013), investigates the mediation of popular-political culture in Scotland and America, from the transatlantic religious revivals known as the Great Awakening to the U.S. presidential election of 1800. In it, he reveals how seemingly disparate events, including journalism and literary forgery, were important deployments of print not as a liberation technology, but as a mediator of political tensions. McAuley completed this project with the generous support of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville, VA. The book was published in Bucknell University Press’s Transits: Literature, Thought, and Culture, 1650–1850 series, which “seeks to provide transformative readings of the literary, cultural, and historical interconnections between Britain, Europe, the Far East, Oceania, and the Americas in the long eighteenth century, and as they extend down to the present time.”

Selected Publications



Print Technology in Scotland and America, 1740–1800 (Bucknell University Press, 2013)

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“Walking and Weeding in a Shrinking World: The Strange Case of Robert Louis Stevenson,” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 26, Issue 3, Summer 2019, Pages 570–593.

“‘Calcutta Still Haunts My Imagination’: The Confusion of Old and New World Ecologies in Early Caribbean Literature,” The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies, edited by Clare Elliot and Leslie Eckel (Edinburgh University Press, 2016)

“Romantic Recycling: The Global Economy and Secondhand Language in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative and the Letters of the Sierra Leone Settlers,” with Debbie Lee (Co-Author), Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760 – 1820, edited by Evan Gottlieb (Bucknell University Press, 2014)

“‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’: Sympathy, Antipathy, and the Unsettling of Colonial American History in Film,” A Companion to Historical Film, edited by Constantin Parvulescu and Robert A. Rosenstone (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2013), 513 – 539.

“‘Art Transforms the Savage Face of Things’: Scottish Identity & the ’45 Jacobite Rebellion in James Grainger’s West-Indian Georgic, The Sugar Cane,” Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, Volume 16, Issue 1 (April 2012), 95 – 112.

“Anti-Slavery Poetry,” Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature, Frederick Burwick, Nancy Goslee, and Diane Hoeveler, editors (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2012), 38 – 47.

“Periodical Visitations”: Yellow Fever as Yellow Journalism in Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 19:3 (Spring 2007), 307 – 340.