Dr. Kevin Pelletier
Associate Professor of English
Profile

Professor Pelletier's research focuses on early-U.S. literature and culture. His first book, Apocalyptic Sentimentalism: Love and Fear in U.S. Antebellum Literature (University of Georgia Press), examines how antislavery writers used warnings of God's apocalyptic wrath, and the terror these warnings produced, to generate interracial sympathy. With readings of diverse figures like David Walker, Nat Turner, Maria Stewart, Lydia Maria Child, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, Professor Pelletier illustrates how antislavery discourse worked to redefine violence and vengeance as the ultimate expression (rather than denial) of love and sympathy.

His current research examines western comedic traditions, with a special emphasis on American humor writing and performance, including humor from the Old Southwest and vaudeville through twentieth-century film and the rise of stand-up comedy. He has an article-in-progess titled “‘The Reign of Humbug’: Joseph G. Baldwin, P.T. Barnum, and the Economy of American Humor.”

Grants and Fellowships
Community-Based Learning Faculty Fellowship, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond, 2009.
Presidential Fellowship, University at Buffalo, SUNY, 2002-2006.
Mark Diamond Research Fellowship, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Summer 2006.
Dissertation Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Spring 2006.
Awards
Summer Fellowship, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Richmond, 2008-2014; 2016-2017.
Community-Based Learning Faculty Fellowship, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond, 2009
Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Spring 2007
Publications
Books

Apocalyptic Sentimentalism: Love and Fear in US Antebellum Literature (University of Georgia Press, 2015)

Articles

“The Last Cleric: Ann Douglas, Intellectual Authority, and the Place of Feminization at Forty,” co-written with Claudia Stokes and Abram Van Engen, J19 forthcoming.

"David Walker, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the Logic of Sentimental Terror." African American Review 46.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2013): 255-269.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Apocalyptic Sentimentalism.” Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.4 (2009): 266-287.

Rosi Braidotti, Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialistic Theory of Becoming, Review essay, Cultural Critique (Fall 2004).


Education
Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo
Contact Information
(804) 289-8776
Areas of Expertise
Early-American Literature
U.S. Apocalyptic Literature
Race and slavery
American Humor
Philosophies of Humor