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  • Edward Larkin
    Professor
    University of Delaware
    Department of English
    306 Memorial Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    (302) 831-6730
    Office Hours: Wed, 10am-Noon

    Biography

    Edward Larkin (BA Harvard, MA and PhD Stanford) is the author of Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution (Cambridge UP, 2005) and editor of Paine's Common Sense (Broadview, 2004). His new book, The American School of Empire is forthcoming from Cambridge UP (2016). He is also the coeditor, with Ed Cahill (Fordham), of a special issue of Early American Literature on the topic of Aesthetics in Early America. He has published essays and reviews in journals such as American Literary History, Diaspora, Early American Literature, The Arizona Quarterly, and Novel, A Forum on Fiction. A former Fulbright US Scholar and the recipient of an NEH fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, his current research focuses on print culture and empire in colonial and Revolutionary America. He teaches courses in American literature and culture from the seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth century with strong interests in visual culture, theories of sovereignty and the state, and the intersection of literature and politics.

Degrees 

  • Ph.D., English and American Literature and Language, Stanford University, 1998
  • M.A., English and American Literature and Language, Stanford University, 1993
  • B.A., English, Harvard University, 1990

Research Projects 

Publications 

  • The American School of Empire
    Larkin, Edward
    New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

    ​Early American artists and political thinkers wrestled with the challenges of forming a cohesive, if not coherent, culture and political structure to organize the young republic and its diverse peoples. The American School of Empire shows how this American idea of empire emerged through a dialogue with British forms of empire, becoming foundational to how the US organized its government and providing early Americans with the framework for thinking about the relations between states and the disparate peoples and cultures that defined them. Edward Larkin places special emphasis on the forms of the novel and history painting, which were crucial vehicles for the articulation of the American vision of empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

     
  • Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution
    Larkin, Edward
    New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

    ​Thomas Paine has been celebrated for his role in persuading the American colonists to revolt against Britain and declare their independence. At the same time, however, scholars have generally dismissed his writings as propaganda. This book demonstrates that Paine was a skilled and sophisticated writer and thinker who transformed political literature in the late eighteenth century by creating a new literature of politics that bridged political philosophy and the everyday, common-sensical knowledge of ordinary people. The impact of this new political language would be remarkable as it energized a mass public to participate in the arena of politics, an arena from which they had been excluded.

     
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    Larkin, Edward
    Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2004.

    ​When Common Sense was published in January 1776, it sold, by some estimates, a stunning 150,000 copies in the colonies. What exactly made this pamphlet so appealing? This is a question not only about the state of mind of Paine's audience, but also about the role of public opinion and debate, the function of the press, and the shape of political culture in the colonies. 

    This Broadview edition of Paine's famous pamphlet attempts to reconstruct the context in which it appeared and to recapture the energy and passion of the dispute over the political future of the British colonies in North America. Included along with the text of Common Sense are some of the contemporary arguments for and against the Revolution by John Dickinson, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson; materials from the debate that followed the pamphlet's publication showing the difficulty of the choices facing the colonists; the Declaration of Independence; and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.

     
 
  • UD College /Dept. Name  •   Address  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-xxx-xxxx  •   E-mail: xxxxx@udel.edu

 

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