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Department of English Language and Literature


Catherine Keyser

Title: Professor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-576-5957
Office: HUO 305
Resources: English Language and Literature


PhD, Harvard University 2007
BA, Princeton University 2001

Areas of Specialization 

    Modern American Literature
    American Women Writers
    African American Literature
    Periodical Studies
    Gender Studies
    Food Studies

Recently Taught Courses

U.S. Women Writers of the 1920s
Vehicles of Modernity: Transportation Technology and Modern U.S. Literature
Fast and Slow Foods in Modern American Literature
Themes in American Literature: Eat This! Food and Modern U.S. Literature

Professional Accolades 

   • Margaret Church MFS Memorial Prize for Best Essay, 2017
   Morrison Fellowship, English Department, University of South Carolina, 2016-2017

    Provost Humanities Grant, University of South Carolina, 2014
    Peter and Bonnie McCausland Fellow of English Language and Literature 2013-
    Institute for African American Research Fellowship, University of South Carolina, 2011-12
    Provost Humanities Grant, 2011-12
    Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award 2011 Hartman Center Travel Grant, Duke University Libraries, 2011
    College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Stipend,  2011
    Department of English Outstanding Teacher,  2010

Selected Publications

   • “Posthuman Character as Racializing Assemblage,” ASAP/J, “Character of Literary Criticism” cluster, ed. Octavio Gonzalez and Lisa Mendelman, September 2021 
“US Women Writers, Sexual Violence, and Narrative Resistance,” in Gender in American Literature and Culture, ed. Jean Marie Lutes and Jennifer Travis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 160-172 
“Guilty Pleasures in Children’s Literature,” in The Cambridge Companion to Food and Literature, ed. J. Michelle Coghlan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 146-160 
“Modernist Food Studies,” Modernism/modernity Print Plus vol. 4, cycle 1 (May 2019)

    Artificial Color: Modern Food and Racial Fictions (Oxford University Press, 2019)
    Playing Smart: New York Women Writers and Modern Magazine Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2010)

“Visceral Encounters: Critical Race Studies and Modern Food Literature,” in Food and Literature, ed. Gitanjali G. Shahani (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 147-168
    “The New Woman,” in American Literature in Transition, 1920-1930, ed. Ichiro Takayoshi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 101-123
    “Candy Boys and Chocolate Factories: Roald Dahl, Racialization, and Global Industry,” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 63.3 (September 2017): 403-428
    “Bottles, Bubbles, and Blood: Jean Toomer and the Limits of Racial Epidermalism,” Modernism/modernity 22.2 (April 2015): 279-302
    “An All-Too-Moveable Feast: Ernest Hemingway and the Stakes of Terroir,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 2.1 (Winter 2014)
    “The Sweet Tooth of Slavery: Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Walker’s ‘A Subtlety,’” Transition 115 (2014): 143-153

Recent Presentations 

   “Citrus and Surfaces: Print Media and the Appetite for the Other.” Keynote, “Refractions of Mass Culture: Modernist Print Media and the Logic of Multiplication,” a symposium of the American Studies division at Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany. September 2022. 
   “Dorothy Parker, Smart Magazines, and the Susceptible Body.” Visiting Faculty, City of Print: NEH Summer Seminar (online), July 2020 
“Fitzgerald and Race II: Artificial Colors and Racial Fictions in The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night, and Other (Mostly) non-Gatsby Works,” invited panelist, F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, virtual, July 2021 
“Sucking Lemons and Queering Race: Character Types and Citrus Crates,” Modernist Studies Association (MSA) conference in Toronto, ON, October 2019 
“Chew on This: Global Food and Children’s Literature,” American Studies Association (ASA) conference in Atlanta, GA, November 2018
   “Seeds of Change: Food, Biodiversity, and the Arts,” ENV 200: The Environmental Nexus, Princeton Environmental Institute,  Princeton University, March 2018.
   “Satire in the Bardo: George Saunders and Empathetic Irony,” Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in New York, NY, January 2018
   “Gleaning Fields and Gathering Mushrooms: Gertrude Stein and Food Studies,” Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in New York, NY, January 2018
   “Changing Color in the Chocolate Factory,” Critical Questions Lecture Series, Oregon State University, April 2017
   “‘A Ripe and Complete Woman’: Philippa Schuyler, Raw Foods, and Racial Futures,” the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Colloquium Series, Wake Forest University, March 2017

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.