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  • Martin Brückner, Interim Director, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture

    Interim Director, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture
    Co-Director, Center for Material Culture Studies
    University of Delaware
    304 Memorial Hall
    Newark, DE 19716


    Martin Brückner is Professor in the English Department and also serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies (CMCS) and the Delaware Public Humanities Institute (DELPHI) at the University of Delaware. His teaching and research interests include: English literatures of America (16th to 19th c.); literary geography of the Atlantic World; material culture studies; history of cartography; intellectual history; print culture and the visual arts; and early transnational bestsellers. He earned his M.A. from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in American Literature and Cultural Geography in his native Germany, and his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in the United States. 

    He is the author of over thirty essays on eighteenth and nineteenth-century American literary, visual, and material culture, with special emphases on the cartographic turn in American fiction and culture, literacy studies, and the spatial imagination. His four books include two monographs, The Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860 (2017; winner of the 2018 Fred B. Kniffen Book Award, International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Culture) and The Geographic Revolution in Early America: Maps, Literacy, and National Identity (2006; winner of the 2007 Louis Gottschalk Book Prize in Eighteenth-Century Studies); and two edited volumes, Early American Cartographies (2011) and American Literary Geographies: Spatial Practice and Cultural Production, 1500-1900 (2007; co-edited with Hsuan L. Hsu). Working as Visiting Curator at the Winterthur Museum, he prepared the exhibition Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience (2013-2014) available at Most recently he launched the collaborative digital humanities project, ThingStor: A Material Culture Database for Finding Objects in Literature and Visual Art (2019).

    He has held grants and post-doctoral fellowships from various institutions, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the University of Mainz. His work has received the Society of Early Americanists Essay Prize (2007), the University’s Francis Alison Young Scholar Award (2002) and the Excellence in Scholarship Award from the University of Delaware’s College of Arts and Science (2018). Currently co-editor of two volumes, Elusive Archives: Material Culture Studies in Formation and Imagined Forms: The Material Culture of Modeling, his forthcoming essays discuss the role of objects in the age of thing theory, the literary geographies of Charles Brockden Brown, and the map culture of the War of 1812. His next research projects explore the relationship between early American fiction and material culture broadly defined in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.









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University of Delaware
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361