J. Michelle Coghlan

J. Michelle Coghlan


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Personal profile

Other research

Grants and Fellowships

BAAS Founders' Award Research Travel Grant (2015)

AHRC/BBC 3 New Generation Thinkers Short List (2015-2016)

MLA Travel Grant (2015)

Social Responsibility in the Curriculum Grant, University of Manchester (2014-2015)

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia (2012-2013)

ACLS New Faculty Fellow Nomination, Princeton University (2012-2013)

Faculty Research Grant, Princeton University Tuck Fund (Summer 2012)

Quin Morton Teaching Fellowship, Princeton University (2010-2011)

PIIRS Dissertation Writing Grant, Princeton University (2009-2010)

Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University (2008-2009)


J. Michelle Coghlan joined Manchester as a Lecturer in American Literature in September 2013, having previously taught as a post-doctoral lecturer at Princeton. She specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century American literature and culture with a particular emphasis on radical print culture and memory, the literary life of the senses, and food studies. Her first book, Sensational Internationalism, was awarded the 2017 Arthur Miller Centre First Book prize in American Studies. Her new project, Culinary Designs, aims to chronicle the rise of food writing and the making of American taste in the long nineteenth century. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, Arizona Quarterly, the Henry James Review, Poe StudiesAmerican Nineteenth Century History, and the Journal of American Studies, as well as in volumes such as Literature and Food (Ed. Gitanjali Shahani; CUP 2018), The Pocket Instructor: Literature (Eds. Diana Fuss and William Gleason; Princeton UP, 2015), and Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers (Eds. Sarah Churchwell and Thomas Ruys Smith; Continuum 2012). In 2014, she guest edited "Tasting Modernism," the Winter 2014 special issue of Resilience and is currently editing The Cambridge Companion to Food and Literature.

Dr. Coghlan has acted as a grant assessor for the US-UK Fulbright Association, and serves on the Academic Advisory Board affiliated with the Musée Franco-Américain du Château de Blérancourt and the Sussex Centre for American Studies. From 2014-2017, she served on the Steering Committee of the British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, a UK-based organisation of researchers, teachers, writers, and cultural critics engaged in progressive, interdisciplinary scholarship concerning American writing in the long nineteenth century which sponsors lectures, reading groups, a biennial conference in the UK with invited speakers from the US and round the world. (http://www.branca.org.uk).

She teaches a number of modules at Manchester, including American Literature to 1900, an Introduction to American Studies seminar centered on Americans in Paris, and Occupy Everything, a third-year seminar on revolution and radical memory in U.S. culture from OWS to the Haitian revolution. 


Ph. D. Princeton University

B.A. University of California, Berkeley


Research interests

My first book, Sensational Internationalism, recovers the Paris Commune's spectacular afterlife in late nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. literary, visual, and performance culture (Edinburgh UP, 2016). Charting the Commune's returns across a surprisingly vast and visually striking archive of periodical poems and illustrations, panoramic spectacles, children's adventure fiction, popular and canonical novels, political pamphlets, avant-garde theater productions, and radical pulp, my book argues that that "the Commune" became, for writers and readers across virtually all classes and political persuasions, a key site for negotiating post-bellum gender trouble and regional reconciliation, a critical locus for reshaping both radical and mainstream memory of revolution and empire, and a vital frontier for rethinking Paris--and what it meant to be an American there--in U.S. fiction and culture.

My work on Henry James's unexpectedly synesthetic experience of space (or what I term his oddly embodied "historical sense") led me to a curious question: what does history taste like? This relationship between multi-sensory memory and the writing of national identity and alimentary sensation drives work on my second project. My new project, Culinary Designs, chronicles the rise of American food writing and the making of American taste in the long nineteenth century.

I would welcome research students in any of these areas of American literature and culture, especially those working in the long nineteenth-century.


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  • Arthur Miller Centre First Book Prize

    Coghlan, J. Michelle (Recipient), 8 Apr 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)