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Shirley Samuels



Shirley Samuels is currently working on two projects, an edited book on race and visuality in the nineteenth century United States and another monograph, currently titled "Democratic Witness," on witnessing, testimony, and culture in the United States. She teaches at Cornell in several departments, including American Studies, English, History of Art and Visual Studies, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her books include The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln (2012), Reading the American Novel 1780-1865 (2012), Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War (2004); Companion to American Fiction, 1780-1865 (2004); Romances of the Republic: Women, the Family, and Violence in the Literature of the Early American Nation (1996); and The Culture of Sentiment: Race, Gender, and Sentimentality in 19th Century America (1992). In addition to Cornell, she has taught at Princeton University, Brandeis University, and the University of Delaware. She has held fellowships from The American Council of Learned Societies, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Huntington Library.


  • American Studies Program
  • English
  • Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Graduate Fields

  • American Studies
  • English Language and Literature
  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
  • History of Art, Archaeology and Visual Studies


  • American Studies Program
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (FGSS)
  • History of Art and Visual Studies (ART H)


  • American literature and culture
  • Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American fiction
  • Feminist criticism
  • American studies
  • Late 20th-Century Women Writers and Visual Culture
  • Narratives of Mobility and Escape in Nineteenth-Century America
  • Social and Sexual Constructions of Whiteness, Ethnicity, and Race





Museum course dives into artistic, literary connections West Campus course fosters dialogue on race, campus climate Nine Arts and Sciences faculty chosen as 2017 Public Voices Fellows Engaged Cornell 2016 Faculty Fellows named


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