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First Book Institute


The Seventh Annual First Book Institute

Hosted by the Center for American Literary Studies

Pennsylvania State University

June 2-8, 2019


  • Sean X. Goudie, Director of the Center for American Literary Studies and Winner of the MLA Prize for a First Book
  • Priscilla Wald, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English and Women's Studies at Duke University and Editor of American Literature

The stakes of successful publishing by early career professors are more urgent than ever given the current state of higher education promotion and publishing.  Responding to a glaring need in the field, the First Book Institute—now in its seventh year—features workshops and presentations led by institute faculty aimed at assisting participants in transforming their book projects into ones that promise to make the most significant impact possible on the field and thus land them a publishing contract with a top university press. 

Congratulations to the eight successful applicants to this year’s institute!  They are: 

  • Nissa Ren Cannon, Postdoctoral Fellow, Kilachand Honors College, Boston University

Project Title: Paper Identities and Identity Papers: Documents of Interwar Expatriation and Modernist Writing

  • Chris A. Eng, Assistant Professor of English, Syracuse University

Project Title: States of Provisionality: Improvising Queer Extravagance in Asian American Camps

  • Emily Hainze, Postdoctoral Fellow, Kilachand Honors College, Boston University

Project Title:  Incorrigible: Writing from the Early Women’s Prison in the United States

Project Title: No Newe Enterprize: Empirical Political Science and the Problem of Innovation in the Colonial English Americas

Project Title: Infectious Affect: The Phobic Imagination in American Literature

  • Jesse Miller, Clinical Assistant Professor of Writing, School of Management, University at Buffalo

Project Title: The Birth of the Literary Clinic: Modernism, Bibliotherapy, and the Aesthetics of Health, 1916-1944

Project Title: Here to Stay: The Making of Latinx New York, 1931-1951

Project Title: Citizen Technologies: The U.S. Post Office and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Learn more about the First Book Institute--now in its seventh year--from this short video featuring the co-directors and participants of the 2013 First Book Institute.

"The Institute has given me a whole new perspective on my project.
I have all kinds of ideas for how I'm going to go forward from here."
-- Samaine Lockwood, 2013 participant