Photo of Eliza Richards, taken by Sarah Boyd

Associate Professor / Internship Coordinator

Ph.D. English Language and Literature. University of Michigan, Aug. 1997.

M.A. English Language and Literature. University of Michigan, Dec. 1990.

B.A. English, with High Honors. Bates College, June 1984.


I teach and write about American literature and culture before 1900, especially poetry. I’m also interested in theories of poetry and other genres, the history of US and British poetry, comparative romanticisms, gendered poetics, and 20th and 21st-century poetry. My work has focused on the roles poetry plays in larger cultural systems, how the circulation of poetry cultivates social networks, and the interaction between poetry and other media forms. I have also written about nineteenth-century ideas about authorship, many of which do not privilege individual artists,  but instead emphasize collaborative modes of invention.


  • Battle Lines: Poetry and Mass Media in the US Civil War (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).
  • Emily Dickinson in Context (edited collection; Cambridge UP, 2013).
  • Gender and the Poetics of Reception in Poe’s Circle (Cambridge UP, 2004).
  • “‘Gorgeous Crime’: The Art of Violence in Women’s Civil War Poetry,” ESQ special issue, ed. Faith Barrett, Elizabeth Petrino, and Paraic Finnerty (forthcoming 2019).
  • “Popular Networks in Melville’s Battle-Pieces,” in The New Melville, ed. Cody Marrs (forthcoming, Cambridg UP, 2018).
  • “‘Success in Circuit Lies’: Dickinson, Media, and Imagination,” in The New Dickinson, ed. Michelle Kohler (forthcoming Cambridge UP, 2018).

Teaching Awards

  • Chapman Family Teaching Award, UNC-Chapel Hill. University-wide award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.  2015
  • Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction, UNC-Chapel Hill. University-wide teaching award. 2013
  • Graduate Student Mentoring Award, UNC-Chapel Hill. Given by the association of graduate students in Eng. and Comp. Lit. 2011-201
  • Award for Excellence in Mentoring on the Master’s Level, UNC-Chapel Hill. Given by the association of graduate students in Eng. and Comp. Lit. 2005-2006
  • Gitner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Boston University. College-wide teaching award. 2001-2002


  • Jimmy and Judy Cox Asia Initiative Award for travel to China, Asian Studies Center, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2014
  • Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Fellowship, National Humanities Center. 2010-2011
  • American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. 2002-2003
  • Humanities Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship, Boston University. Fall 2001
  • Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago. 1997-1998

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL 348 American Poetry
  • ENGL 344 American Literature 1860-1900
  • ENGL 343 American Literature Before 1860
  • ENGL 347 American Novel
  • ENGL 843 Seminar in American Literature Before 1860
  • ENGL 844 Seminar in American Literature, 1860-1900
  • ENGL 125 Introduction to Poetry

Curriculum Vitae / Resume