Sandra M. Gustafson



Concurrent Professor of American Studies

Faculty Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Specialty: American literature and culture, the American novel, political theory, rhetoric and performance theory (including emphases on gender, ethnicity, and postcolonialism)

Degrees: B.A., Cornell University; Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Sandra M. Gustafson is the author of works  on American literature and culture including Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic (Chicago, 2011), Eloquence is Power: Oratory and Performance in Early America (North Carolina, 2000), and essays on William Apess, James Fenimore Cooper, Jonathan Edwards, and Margaret Fuller.  She is the editor of the MLA-affiliated journal Early American Literature, co-editor of Cultural Narratives:  Textuality and Performance in American Culture before 1900 (Notre Dame, 2010), and guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of the Early Republic on political writing and literature.  She has held a Berkeley Fellowship, an Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. She has been awarded a second NEH fellowship for 2014 to complete a book on the American novel from Cooper to Silko that draws on peace studies methodologies.


Selected Publications:

  • "The Cosmopolitan Origins of the American Self." Early American Literature 47.2.  Fall 2012.
  • Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic.  University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • “Cooper and the Idea of the Indian.”  In Cambridge History of the American Novel.  Eds. Leonard Cassuto et al. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • “Eloquent Shakespeare.”  In Shakespearean Educations:  Power, Citizenship, Performance.  Eds. Coppélia Kahn, Heather Nathans, and Mimi Godfrey.  University of Delaware Press, 2011.
  • Cultural Narratives:  Textuality and Performance in American Culture before 1900.  Co-edited with Caroline F. Sloat. University of Notre Dame Press, 2010.
  • “Natty in the 1820's: Creole Subjects and Democratic Aesthetics in the Early Leatherstocking Tales.” In Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas: Empires, Texts, Identities.  Eds.  Ralph Bauer and Jose Antonia Mazzotti.  University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2009.
  • “American Literature and the Public Sphere,” American Literary History 20.  Fall 2008.
  • "Hendrick Aupaumut and the Cultural Middle Ground." In Early Native Literacies in New England: A Documentary and Critical Anthology.  Eds.  Kristina Bross and Hilary E. Wyss.  University of Massachusetts Press, 2008.
  • “Literature." In Keywords of American Cultural Studies. Eds. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler.  New York University Press, 2007.
  • "Histories of Democracy and Empire." American Quarterly 59. March 2007.
  • “The Emerging Media of Early America.” The 2005 James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture.  Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 115.  2005.
  • Eloquence is Power:  Oratory and Performance in Early America.  UNCP for OIEAHC, 2000.  
  • "The Genders of Nationalism:  Patriotic Violence, Patriotic Sentiment in the Performances of Deborah Sampson Gannett."  In Possible Pasts:  Becoming Colonial in Early America.  Ed. Robert Blair St. George. Cornell University Press, 2000.
  • "Choosing a Medium:  Margaret Fuller and the Forms of Sentiment." American Quarterly 47.  March 1995.
  • "Jonathan Edwards and the Reconstruction of 'Feminine' Speech." American Literary History 6.  Summer 1994,         


Selected Honors and Awards

  • NEH Fellowship, 2014
  • Council of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2009-12
  • Ron Rucker Lecturer at Middlebury College, April 2006
  • James Russell Wiggins Lecturer in the History of the Book in American Culture, American Antiquarian Society, June 2005
  • Elected to the American Antiquarian Society, 2003
  • NEH Fellowship, 2002-03
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1994-96


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Contact Information
277 Decio Faculty Hall
(574) 631-7788

Postal address
Department of English
356 O’Shaughnessy
Notre Dame, IN 46556