Nan Z. Da

Nan Da

Assistant Professor of English

Specialty: 19th-Century American Literature, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature, Transnationalism

Degrees: BA, University of Chicago; PhD, University of Michigan

My research and teaching interests are in nineteenth-century American literature and letters, Qing and early-Republic Chinese literature and letters, literary nationalism and transnationalism, narrative/genre/media theory, and theories of the book and its readers. 

Currently I'm drawing on canonical and sub-canonical works from nineteenth-century America and China to formulate a hermeneutics of formality. I am asking what might be gained if we see formality neither as meaningless social postures nor as traditional conservativisms but as ways of: having boundaries despite participating in history's unfolding or cultural sharing; deconstructing the ramifications of formalizing (or codifying) human contact; articulating the finitude of available forms of cross-cultural expression at any given moment; and excusing oneself in a quiet manner from certain kinds of empiricisms and historicisms. 

Essays from this line of inquiry has been placed in Signs, American Literary History, J19, Henry James Review, Public Books, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Personal Website:

Contact Information:
228 Decio Faculty Hall
(574) 631-7536

Mailing Address:
Department of English
356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556