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Photo of Matthew Taylor, taken by Sarah Boyd

Associate Professor

PhD English, Johns Hopkins University

MA English, Johns Hopkins University

BA Honors English and Biology, Trinity University


My research focuses on the intersections among environmental humanities, critical theory (including posthumanism, biopolitics, science and technology studies, and critical race theory), and nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. My first book, Universes without Us: Posthuman Cosmologies in American Literature (Univ. of Minnesota Press), examines cosmologies that challenge the utopianism of both past and present attempts at fusing self and environment.


  • Universes without Us: Posthuman Cosmologies in American Literature (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2013)
  • Co-Editor, Twentieth/Twenty-First Century Literature and Science, Vol. 5 of Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science (in progress)
  • “At Land’s End: Novel Spaces and the Limits of Planetarity,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction (Spring 2016): 115-38.
  • “‘Contagious Emotions’ and the Ghost Dance Religion: Mooney’s Science, Black Elk’s Fever,” English Literary History 81.3 (Fall 2014): 1055-1082.
  • “The Ends of History,” American Literary History 25.4 (Winter 2013): 944-957.
  • “Ghost-Humanism; or, Specters of Materialism,” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 1.2 (October 2013): 416-422.

Teaching Awards

  • Deans Teaching Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2007


  • Faculty Fellowship, UNC Institute for the Arts & Humanities, 2017
  • Schwab Academic Excellence Award, UNC Institute for the Arts & Humanities, 2016
  • IBM Junior Faculty Development Award, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2009
  • James Gargano Award for Best Scholarly Essay (2007), Poe Studies Association

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL 261: “Introduction to Literary Criticism”
  • ENGL 347: “The American Novel: Popular Genres”
  • ENGL 057: “FYS: Future Perfect”
  • ENGL 268/268H: “Medicine, Literature, Culture”

Curriculum Vitae / Resume