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Larry J. Reynolds

Distinguished Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Cultural Studies
  • American Literature and Culture
  • (979) 845-8356
  • LAAH 542
Professional Links
Personal Website


Ph.D., American Literature, Duke University

M.A., English, The Ohio State University

B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Cincinnati

Research Interests

Dr. Reynolds’s main area of interest is 19th-century American literature, especially the American Renaissance, which features works by Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Douglass, and Margaret Fuller.

Honors and Awards

  • Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Internal Fellowship, 2015-2016
  • Distinguished Research Award from Texas A&M Association of Former Students, 2014
  • President, Margaret Fuller Society, 2012-2014
  • University Distinguished Professorship, 2011—-
  • College of Liberal Arts Research Award, Texas A&M, 2009
  • Fulbright Senior Lectureship, University of Ghent and Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2001
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1998
  • President, Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, 1996-1999
  • Thomas Franklin Mayo Endowed Professorship, Texas A&M, 1991—-
  • Distinguished Teaching Award from Texas A&M Association of Former Students, 1990


Larry J. Reynolds, Routledge Introduction to American Renaissance Literature . Routledge, 2021.

Examining the most frequently taught works by key writers of the American Renaissance, including Poe, Emerson, Fuller, Douglass, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Jacobs, Stowe, Whitman, and Dickinson, this engaging and accessible book offers the crucial historical, social, and political contexts in which they must be studied. Larry J. Reynolds usefully groups authors together for more lively and fruitful discussion and engages with current as well as historical theoretical debates on the area. The book includes essential biographical and historical information to situate and contextualize the literature, and incorporates major relevant criticism into each chapter. Recommended readings for further study, along with a list of works cited, concludes each chapter.


Righteous-Violence - Reynolds

Larry J. ReynoldsRighteous Violence: Revolution, Slavery, and the American Renaissance. University of Georgia Press, 2011.

Righteous Violence examines the struggles with the violence of slavery and revolution that engaged the imaginations of seven nineteenth-century American writers—Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville.



Devils-and-Rebels - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds, Devils and Rebels: The Making of Hawthorne’s Damned Politics. University of Michigan Press, 2008, 2010.

The book offers fresh readings of not only Hawthorne’s four major romances but also some of his less familiar works like “Legends of the Province House,” The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, Journal of an African Cruiser, The Life of Franklin Pierce, and “Septimius Felton.” Reynolds argues that Hawthorne—whether in his politics or his art—drew upon racialized imagery from America’s past revolution and war on witchcraft to create a politics of quiet imagination, alert to the ways in which New England righteousness could become totalitarian by imposing its narrow view of the world on others.


European-Revolutions - ReynoldsLarry J. ReynoldsEuropean Revolutions and the American Literary Renaissance. Yale University Press, 1988.

In this pioneering study, Larry J. Reynolds argues that the European revolutions of 1848-49 quickened the American literary imagination and shaped the characters, plots, and themes of the American renaissance. He traces the impact of the revolutions on Emerson, Fuller, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and Thoreau, showing that the upheavals abroad both inspired and disturbed. Unlike many studies that have emphasized the national features and revolutionary spirit of our classic American literature, Reynolds’s study places this literature in an international context, revealing its conservative, counterrevolutionary side.


James-Kirke-Paulding - ReynoldsLarry J. ReynoldsJames Kirke Paulding. G. K. Hall, 1984.

“This is a clearly written, pleasing volume to read. It is informative to the scholar and suitable for the general reader who wants an introduction to Paulding. Writing intelligently and sensibly, Reynolds conveys a definite feeling of authority in his coverage of Paulding’s career. He views Paulding in a generally favorable light without indulging in exaggerated claims for his greatness. This is the study that has been needed on Paulding for a long time, and readers should find it well worth the wait.”—David Kesterson, South Central Review



Nathaniel-Hawthorne - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds, ed. Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Nathaniel Hawthorne remains one of the most widely read and taught of American authors. This Historical Guide collects a number of original essays by Hawthorne scholars that place the author in historical context. Like other volumes in the series, A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne includes an introduction, a brief biography, a bibliographical essay, and an illustrated chronology of the author’s life and times.



National-Imaginaries - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds and Gordon Hutner, eds. National Imaginaries, American Identities.Princeton University Press, 2000.

From the American Revolution to the present, the United States has enjoyed a rich and persuasive visual culture. These images have constructed, sustained, and disseminated social values and identities, but this unwieldy, sometimes untidy form of cultural expression has received less systematic attention than other modes of depicting American life. Recently, scholars in the humanities have developed a new critical approach to reading images and the cultural work they perform. This practice, American cultural iconography, is generating sophisticated analyses of how images organize our public life.



Woman-in-the-19th-century - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds, ed. Woman in the Nineteenth Century. By Margaret Fuller. A Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1998.

The text is that of the first edition and includes comprehensive textual annotations. “Backgrounds” reveals the experiential basis for the text through autobiographical writings and selections from Fuller’s recently published letters, journals, and “Boston Conversations.” “Criticism and Reviews” presents a superb selection of critical writing about the novel. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.



New-Historical-Literary-Study - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds and Jeffrey Cox, eds. New Historical Literary Study: Essays on Reproducing Texts, Representing History. Princeton University Press, 1993.

This volume, growing out of the celebrated turn toward history in literary criticism, showcases some of the best new historical work being done today in textual theory, literary history, and cultural criticism. The collection brings together for the first time key representatives from various schools of historicist scholarship, including leading critics whose work has helped define new historicism.



These-Sad-But-Glorious-Days - ReynoldsLarry J. Reynolds and Susan Belasco Smith, eds. “These Sad But Glorious Days”: Dispatches from Europe, 1846-1850. By Margaret Fuller. Yale University Press, 1991.

Margaret Fuller—journalist, critic, radical feminist, and political activist—traveled in Europe between 1846 and 1850 as a foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune. Her letters from England, France, and Italy, which began as engaging travel sketches, soon became moving accounts of the most widespread revolutionary upheaval within modern history. These dispatches are now reproduced in their entirety for the first time.