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Department of

Erin Forbes

Assistant Professor of English
Affiliated with the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies
Ph.D. Princeton University, English 2009
M.A., Princeton University, English 2005
B.A., Reed College, English 2002

Department of English webpage

Hoyt Hall 247

Research and Expertise:

Erin Forbes teaches American, African American, and Diasporic literature of the 18th-21st centuries. She has published on U.S. and African American literature of the long nineteenth century, with a special focus on aesthetics, history, politics, race and environment. Forbes is currently finishing a book The Criminal’s Genius: Aesthetic Agency in American Literature, which identifies and describes collective, distributed conceptions of agency at the intersections of criminality and creativity.


“Do Black Ghosts Matter?: Harriet Jacobs’ Spiritualism,” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth Century American Literature and Culture 62.3 (2016)

“Edgar Allan Poe and the Great Dismal Swamp: Reading Race and Environment after the Aesthetic Turn.” Modern Philology 114.2 (Fall 2016).

“‘Between the Human and Brutal Creation’: Posthuman Agency and the Samuel Frost Corpus,” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 57.1 (Spring 2016): 39-69.

“Sovereign Poetics: from Exception to Apocrypha,” Expositions 9.2 (2015): 16–34.

“From Prison Cell to Slave Ship: Social Death in ‘The Premature Burial,’” Poe Studies: History, Theory and Interpretation 46.1 (December 2013): 32-58.


The Phi Beta Kappa Society Certificate of Appreciation (2015)

Top Ten Teacher, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming (2014) 

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Huntington Library (2013-2014)

Basic Research Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming (2013) 

Finalist for the Zuckerman Prize in American Studies, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2010) 

College of Arts and Sciences Student Council Thumb’s Up Award, University of Wyoming (2010)

Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society (2008-09)



AAST/ ENGL 2350 Introduction to African American Literature 

AAST 2990/ENGL 2020 Introduction to Literature: Writers of the Black Diaspora

ENGL 2435 Literatures in English III, 1865-the present 

ENGL 4370 American Prose 1865-1920

AAST/RELI/WMST 4500/ ENGL 4640 Religion and American Women Writers

AAST/ ENGL 4990:5990 Literature of Enslavement 

ENGL 4640 Literary Magazine


ENGL 5230 American Gothic

AAST/ ENGL 5990 Literature of Enslavement

ENGL 5240 Race and Nature in American Literature

Erin Forbes

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