Michael Gastiger

Michael Gastiger

[email protected]

B.A. English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


My research interests mainly concern environmental criticism, critical race theory, and American literature's correspondence with the spatial disciplines. My dissertation, tentatively titled “Paper Urbanism: American Literature and the Design of Cities,” considers the relationship between modern American literature and changing ideas about the physical appearance and organization of cities, primarily from a design perspective. Incorporating a wide selection of literary and historical material ranging from William Dean Howells' utopian writings to June Jordan’s work on urban housing issues, environmental design, and land reform, this dissertation  examines literary figures who approached the space of a city not only as something to be represented, described, or analyzed, but as a target for purposeful modification and improvement.


Paper Urbanism: American Literature and the Design of  Cities

Courses Taught:

ENGL 0200: “Opting Out: Social Withdrawal and the Reclusive Life" (Spring 2017)

ENGL 0900: “Critical Reading and Writing I: The Academic Essay” (Fall 2016)

Research and Teaching Interests:

African American Studies and the Black Atlantic; American Literature and Culture; Literary and Cultural Theory; Race and Ethnicity, 19th-Century; 20th-Century and Contemporary