Professor of English
1999, PhD English, University of California at Berkeley
1987, BA English, Wesleyan University
Florence Dore currently teaches in both the Creative Writing and Literature Programs at Carolina. She earned her doctorate at UC Berkeley in 1999 and, after stints at New York University’s Draper Program and Kent State University, became a member the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2010. Several books and articles—both academic and public-facing—appear on Dore’s c.v., but she has also released three records, one of which, Highways and Rocketships, won Best Americana Album of 2022 at Lonesome Highway Magazine. She has held fellowships at New York University, the National Humanities Center, and UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities and has won several grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dore is known for her work on the Steering Committee of the national scholarly group Post45, for whom she was founding co-editor of the Pos45 Book Series at Stanford University Press. In her work as a singer and songwriter, which she is increasingly connecting with her academic pursuits, Dore has become passionate about the Public Humanities. During the pandemic, she created and acted as co- executive producer for the community fundraiser Cover Charge: NC Musicians Go Under Cover to Benefit Cat’s Cradle, a benefit compilation record that came in #1 on the Billboard charts and raised funds for the iconic local rock venue, Cat’s Cradle. She has organized two public conferences on rock and literature, in 2017 at the National Humanities Center with the Carolina Performing Arts and in 2010 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From these public humanities endeavors emerges Dore’s 2022 book, The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock ‘n Roll (Cornell Univ. Press), which brings together essays and interviews with the likes of Richard Thompson, Dom Flemons, Lucinda Williams, and members of John Prine’s band (among others). She sits on the advisory board for the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies at the University of Tulsa, and over 20022-2023 she launched Ink in the Grooves Live, a Traveling Public Humanities Program that found her traversing the US and Ireland performing in rock venues and giving talks on vernacular music and civic belonging.
Prof. Dore’s scholarship is focused on two related fields: postwar and contemporary American novels and novel theory. Broadly conceived, her scholarship investigates a persistence of liberal subjectivity in the Post-1945 novel, even in the face of apparent threats to its existence in the contemporary era—including technology’s melting of everyday life into the virtual, the looming extinction of humans, and the end of democracy as a form of political governance. These investigations center on a study of literary conceptions of the body, which her work shows to be enmeshed with legal, academic, and market institutions that guarantee a centered subjectivity thought to attend the birth of capitalism. It is the novelistic portrayal of the body as adumbrating a more complicated version of subjectivity than that prevailing notion which threads together her new book (in progress), The Novel’s Mother: Cool Form and Feminist Agency in Contemporary Fiction, her 2018 Novel Sounds: Southern Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll, and her first book, The Novel and the Obscene: Sexual Subjects in American Modernism (2005).
- The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock ‘n’ Roll [Editor] (Cornell University Press, 2022).
- [album] Highways and Rocketships, Propeller Sound Recordings, June 10 2022
- “Bob Dylan and American Literature,” The World of Bob Dylan. Cambridge University Press (May 2021).
- Cover Charge: NC Musicians Go Under Cover to Benefit Cat’s Cradle [Compilation: co-creators, Steve Balcom, Shawn Nolan, Lane Wurster] Cover Charge Music, July 2020.
- “Good for Nothing: Lorrie Moore’s Maternal Aesthetic and the Return to Form” Post45.org 5.1 (December 2020)
- Formalism Unbound [Special Issue, co-edited with Timothy Aubry] Post45.org 5 (2 parts: December 2020 and January 2021)
- Novel Sounds: The American Novel in the Age of Rock and Roll . (Columbia University Press, 2018)
- “Rebel Yale: Reading and Feeling Hillbilly Elegy,” with J.D. Connor and Dan Sinykin. Los Angeles Review of Books (January 10, 2018)
- “Who Owns the Blues?” Public Books.org (July 5, 2017)
- “The New Criticism and the Nashville Sound: Faulkner’s The Town and Rock and Roll.” Contemporary Literature 55.1 (Spring 2014): 32-57
- “The Rock Novel and Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude” Nonsite.org (January 2013)
- The Novel and the Obscene: Sexual Subjects in American Literature (Stanford Univ. Press, 2005)
- [album] Perfect City. Missouri: Slewfoot Records (2001)
Fellow, Institute of Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina (2022)
Invited Fellow, The National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC (2016-2017)
Fellow, Institute of Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina (2013)
Resident Associate, The National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC (2011)
Fellow, The National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC (2008-2009)
Visiting Scholar, Case Western Reserve University Law School (Spring 2008)
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2001)
New York University Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought (2000-2002)
Mellon Dissertation Fellowship (1996-7)
Phi Beta Kappa (1987)
- English 408: Songwriting
- English 124: Contemporary Fiction
- English 347: The American Novel