Marc Conner Provost and Jo M. and James Ballengee Professor of English

Marc Conner

Washington Hall 214
Curriculum Vitae


B.A. in English, University of Washington, 1989 (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude)
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Washington, 1989
M.A., Princeton University, 1992
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1994


Modernity and Modern Narrative; Twentieth-century American fiction; African-American literature; modern Irish literature; literature and philosophy; literature and religion.


WRIT 100-First Year Writing Seminar: Coming of Age
English 236-The Bible as English Literature
English 252-Shakespeare
English 352-Modern Irish Literature
English 365-African-American Literature
English 368-The Modern American Novel
English 380/387: Supervised Study in Ireland and Irish Literature

African-American Studies 130: Introduction to African-American Studies

Seminar and Capstone Topics

African-American Memoir
Yeats, Gregory, and the Irish Revival Gnosticism and the Irish Moderns
Yeats and Irish Modernism
Comedy and Tragedy
Existentialism and Literature
Modern Irish Literature
Toni Morrison and William Faulkner
Spring Term in Ireland Program

Selected Publications


  • The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison, co-edited with John Callahan. Random House, 2019.
  • The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century, Co-editor with Lucas Morel. University Press of Mississippi, 2019.
  • Editor, The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, James Joyce Series. 2012. Includes my essays, “The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered” (1-32), and “Joyce’s Poetics of Knowledge” (143-169).
  • Editor, Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher. Editor and contributor, with William R. Nash. University Press of Mississippi, 2007. Includes my essays, "Charles Johnson and Philosophical Black Fiction" (xi-xxxvii, with William R. Nash), "To Utter the Holy: The Metaphysical Romance of Middle Passage" (57-81), and "'At the numinous heart of being':Dreamer and Christian Theology" (150-170).
  • Editor, Speaking the Unspeakable: The Aesthetic Dimensions of Toni Morrison. Editor and contributor. University Press of Mississippi, 2000. Includes my essays "Aesthetics and the African-American Novel" (.ix-xxviii) and "From the Sublime to the Beautiful: The Aesthetic Progression of Toni Morrison" (49-76)

Essays and Articles

  • “The e-channel: Lessons Learned From a Year in the Writer’s House.” Introduction to The Words and Wisdom of Charles Johnson by Charles Johnson. Dzanc Books, 2015: v-xii.
  • Emery Jones, Boy Science Wonder: A Meditation through Art.” American Book Review 35:6 (2014), special issue on “The Color of Children’s Literature.”
  • “Modernity and the Homeless: Toni Morrison and the Fictions of Modernism.” Toni Morrison: Memory and Meaning, eds. Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2014: 19-32.
  • “The Invisible Territory of Ralph Ellison.” Modernism and Autobiography, eds. Emily Wittman and Maria DiBattista. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • “’What lay beneath the names’: The Languages and Landscapes of A Mercy.” Toni Morrison: Paradise, Love, A Mercy, ed. Lucille P. Fultz. London: Continuum, 2012: 147-165.
  • “A Tribute to Charles Johnson, Teacher of Writers.” Charles Johnson: Embracing the World, edited by Nibir K. Ghosh and E. Ethelbert Miller. New Delhi, India: Authorspress, 2011: 110-114.
  • “Contextualizing Charles Johnson: Review of Charles Johnson in Context.” Charles Johnson: Embracing the World, edited by Nibir K. Ghosh and E. Ethelbert Miller. New Delhi, India: Authorspress, 2011: 258-263.
  • “Whiteness and Blackness: Reflections on the Art of William Christenberry.” Studies in American Culture 32:1 (October 2009): 95-101.
  • “Reading Ralph Ellison: A Hidden Name and Complex Fate.” South Atlantic Review 73:4 (Fall 2008): 146-153).
  • “The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered,” in The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, James Joyce Series. 2012. 1-32.
  • “Joyce’s Poetics of Knowledge,” in The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, James Joyce Series. 2012. 143-169.
  • "'The Whiteness of Blackness': The Bonfire of the Vanities and African-American Poetics." Shenandoah 57:1 (Spring 2007): 166-186.
  • "The Specter of History: Filming Memory in Beloved." In The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century American Fiction on Screen, ed. Barton Palmer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007: 202-216.
  • "The Litany of Things: Sacrament and History in Invisible Man." In "Raft of Hope": Ralph Ellison and the Literature of Politics, ed. Lucas Morel. Louisville: University of Kentucky Press, 2004, pp.171-192.
  • "Fathers and Sons: Winesburg, Ohio and the Revision of Modernism." Studies in American Fiction 29:2 (Autumn 2001): 209-238.
  • "Wild Women and Graceful Girls: Toni Morrison's Winter's Tale," Nature, Woman, and the Artifice of Politics. Ed. Eduardo Velasquez. Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.
  • "Midnight's Children and the Apocalypse of Form." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 38:4 (Summer 1997): 289-99.
  • "Postmodern Exhaustion: Thomas Pynchon's Vineland and the Aesthetic of the Beautiful." Studies in American Fiction 25:1 (Spring 1996).


  • "'To bring all loves home': An Interview with Jamie O'Neill." New Hibernia Review 11:2 (Summer 2007): 66-78.


  • Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide by Bryan Crable. Callaloo (forthcoming, 2015).
  • Ralph Ellison and the Genius of America by Timothy Parrish. African-American Review 46:2-3 (Summer/Fall 2013): 18-21.
  • Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: Critical Approaches, eds. Justine Tally and Shirley A. Stave. South Atlantic Review (forthcoming).
  • Ralph Ellison in Progress, by Adam Bradley. South Atlantic Review, 75.4 (Fall 2010): 94-98.
  • Three Days Before the Shooting . . . (The Unfinished Second Novel), by Ralph Ellison. Edited by John F. Callahan and Adam Bradley. Shenandoah 60:3 (94-96), Winter 2010.
  • The Myth of an Irish Cinema: Approaching Irish-Themed Films, by Michael Patrick Gillespie South Atlantic Review 75:1 (135-139), Winter 2011.
  • James Joyce’s Painful Case by Coilin Owens in The James Joyce Quarterly 46:1 (2008): 142-146.
  • “Toni Morrison’s A Mercy.” Review essay in Magill’s Literary Annual 2009 (Padadena, CA: Salem Press): 532-536.
  • Arnold Rampersad's Ralph Ellison: A Biography, in South Atlantic Review, 2007/2008.
  • George Cinclair Gibson's Wake Rites: The Ancient Irish Rituals of Finnegans Wake, in South Atlantic Review, 2007.
  • Andrea O'Reilly's Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart in South Atlantic Review, 2007.
  • Edna O'Brien's The Light of Evening, in The Irish Literary Supplement, 27:1 (28): Fall 2007.
  • Seamus Heaney's District and Circle in Shenandoah, 56:3 (Winter 2007): 177-182.
  • Brett Bourbon's Finding a Replacement for the Soul: Mind and Meaning in Literature and Philosophy in James Joyce Quarterly, 42/43: 1-4 (Fall 2004/Summer 2006): 376-380.
  • "A Theatrics of Protest": Book review of Lucy McDiarmid's The Irish Art of Controversy in The Irish Literary Supplement 25:1 (Fall 2005): 13-14.
  • Ben Howard's The Dark Pool, in Shenandoah 55:1 (Spring/Summer 2005): 198-201.
  • im McWilliams's Passing the Three Gates: Interviews with Charles Johnson in African-American Review 39:3 (Fall 2005): 481-483.
  • Charles Johnson's Dr. King's Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories in Shenandoah 55:2 (Fall 2005): 157-160.
  • Toni Morrison's Love in Shenandoah 54:1 (Spring/Summer 2004): 186-189.
  • Evelyn Schreiber's Subversive Voices: Eroticizing the Other in William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, in South Atlantic Review 68:1 (Winter 2003): 87-91.
  • Cyrus R.K. Patell's Negative Liberties: Morrison, Pynchon, and the Problem of Liberal Ideology, in South Atlantic Review 67:4 (Fall 2002): 87-91.

Web Publications

  • Searchable database for Irish literary studies at Washington and Lee University [electronic resource] (Lexington, VA) : Washington and Lee University, c2003:
  • The Context and Development of Irish Literature: History, Poetry, Landscape [electronic resource] (Lexington, VA): Washington & Lee University, c2006: (A web-based, multi-media, interactive Introduction to Irish History.)