Sandra M. Gustafson


Professor of English

Concurrent Professor of American Studies

Specialty: American literature and culture, the American novel, political theory, peace studies, and the study of civil and human rights

Degrees: BA, Cornell University; PhD, 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 Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. A (9th edition) and advisory editor of the MLA-affiliated journal Early American Literature, as well as the 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. A faculty affiliate of Notre Dame's Center for Civil and Human Rights and a faculty fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, she held an NEH fellowship during 2014 to work on a book about the American novel from Cooper to Silko that draws on peace studies methodologies.


Recent Publications:

  • “Literary Ciceronianism and the Novel,” Reframing Critical, Literary, and Cultural Theories, ed. Nicoletta Pirredu (Palgrave, 2018), 211-33.
  • “Democracy and Discussion: Albion Tourgée on Race and the Town Meeting Ideal,” J19:  The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Vol. 5.2 (Fall 2017): 389-96.
  • “Reimagining the Literature of the Modern Republic,” PMLA, 131:3 (May 2016): 752-758.
  • Town meeting et race en Amerique,” Participations (2/2016): 149-173.
  • Early American Literature at 50,” EAL 50:1 (Spring 2015): 1-20.
  • “Henry Adams, political reform, and the legacy of the Republican Roman Senate,” in a special issue of Classical Receptions Journal, ed. Catherine Steel, 7.1 (2015): 97-112.
  • “Equality as Singularity:  Rethinking Literature and Democracy,” New Literary History 45.4 (Autumn 2014): 595-614.
  • “Between Cicero and Augustine: Religion and Republicanism in the Americas and beyond,” Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas, ed. Stephanie Kirk and Sarah Rivett (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), 252-64.
  • “Orality and Literacy in Transatlantic Perspective,” in special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (online journal, published May 2014).
  •  “What’s in a Date? Temporalities of Early American Literature," PMLA, 128:4 (October 2013): 961–967.


Selected Honors and Awards

  • NEH Fellowship, 2014
  • Council of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2009-2012
  • 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, 2002-2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1994-1996


Blog Posts


Contact Information
277 Decio Hall
(574) 631-7788

Postal address
Department of English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556