John Michael

John Michael

  • John Hall Deane Professor of Rhetoric and Poetry
  • Professor of English
  • Professor of Visual and Cultural Studies
  • Director, American Studies

PhD, The Johns Hopkins University

Office Location
405 Morey Hall
(585) 275-9259

Curriculum Vitae

Research Overview

John Michael's research interests include: U. S. and diasporic literatures and cultures; academic intellectuals and popular politics; national literatures in global contexts; translation studies; the institutional and theoretical implications of the contemporary humanities.

Research Interests

  • American literature
  • critical theory
  • cultural studies

Selected Publication Covers

Selected Publications

  • “World Theory: Amitav Ghosh on Being at Sea,” symplokè 28:1-2 (2020) 331-48.
  • “Secular Lyric: The Modernization of the Poem in Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson, Fordham University Press 2018
  • Lyric History: Temporality, Rhetoric, and the Ethics of Poetry,” NLH 48 (Spring 2017) 2: 265-84.
  • Tragedy and Translation: A Future for Critique in a Secular Age,” in Critique and Post-Critique ed. Rita Felski and Elizabeth Anker (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017) 252-78.
  • Lyric History: Temporality, Rhetoric, and the Ethics of Poetry. New Literary History (Johns Hopkins University Press). 2016
  • "Profiles in Courage, JFK's Books for Boys," in American Literary History (5 July 2012)
  • "The Presence of Immigrants, or Why Mexicans and Arabs Look Alike," in Making Sense of Presence: Philosophy, History and Politics, spec. issue of Storia della Storiographia 55 (2009), 144-58
  • Identity and the Failure of America from Thomas Jefferson to the War on Terror, University of Minnesota 2008
  • "Liberal Justice and Particular Identity: Cavell, Emerson, Rawls," in Arizona Quarterly 64.1 (2008), 27-47
  • "Identity, Masochism, and the Democratic Intellectual in the War on Terror," in Intellectuals and Public Responsibility, spec. issue of The Hedgehog Review (2007), 71-80
  • Review: George Snedeker, The Politics of Critical Theory: Language/Discourse/Society, in Socialism and Democracy 19.1 (2005)
  • "Beyond Us and Them: Identity and Terror from an Arab-American's Perspective," in Palestine America, spec. issue o South Atlantic Quarterly 102.4 (2003), 701-28
  • Anxious Intellects: Academic Professionals, Public Intellectuals, and Enlightenment Values, Duke 2000
  • Emerson and Skepticism: The Cipher of the World, Johns Hopkins 1988


  • “Death, Love, and Emerson’s Poetry"

Work in progress

  • Modern Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America: Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, and Death


  • John Michael's teaching interests span the corpus of American literature, the questions of aesthetics, and the demands of worldly criticism and critical theory in a situation that has been global for a very long time.


  • Presidential Fellow, Salzburg Seminars, Salzburg, Austria, 1993
  • Fulbright Lecturing Award, Instytut Anglistyki, Uniwersytet warszawski, Poland, 1990-91
  • CIES Fellowship, Summer Polish Institute, University of Pittsburgh, 1990
  • Junior Faculty Research Fellowship, University of Rochester, 1989
  • William B. Kenan Teaching Fellowship for Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching, The Johns Hopkins University, 1981-82 and 1982-83
  • Humanities Center Fellowship for Study in Paris, The Johns Hopkins University, 1980-81
  • Human Biology Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University, 1979-80
  • Graduate Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University, 1977-79
  • Advisory Board, Journal of Narrative Theory, 2000-present
  • Editorial Board, Telos, 1990-98
  • Steering Committee, Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies Conference, Rochester, 1994
  • Tenure and Promotion Referee for (most recently) Princeton University, University of Michigan, Georgia Technological Institute, New York University
  • Outside Reader, Westview Press, University of Minnesota Press, Harper Collins, University of Chicago Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, University of Oklahoma Press, PMLA