Kevin Van Anglen

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Senior Lecturer

AB, Princeton University
BA (Honours), MA, Cambridge University
AM, PhD, Harvard University


Room 443
617-358-2550
For CV click here

My main areas of interest are American literature to 1865, European-American literary relations, religion and literature, and literature and the environment.  I teach undergraduate courses in all these areas as well as courses in American literature 1865-1950 and British literature to 1670.  (These include EN 220, 221, 322, 538, 539, 545, 546, and 579.)   I do not teach graduate courses or direct Ph.D. dissertations in English, though I have occasionally served as a dissertation reader.  However, graduate students are always welcome in my undergraduate courses, which in the past have also attracted SED, creative writing and AMNESP students.  My interests may also be suggested by my scholarship.  I am an editor of the Princeton Thoreau Edition, for which I have edited Thoreau’s Translations of ancient Greek and Sanscrit texts, and helped edit a dozen other series volumes; the author of a book on Milton’s New England reception; editor of a collection of Thoreau’s quotations; and coeditor of an interdisciplinary anthology on the environment.  I have also written or have forthcoming articles on the early nineteenth-century American reception of Virgil, Dante, Milton, and Samuel Johnson; aspects of Thoreau’s short nature essays (“the excursions”); and the scholarly neglect or misunderstanding of religion’s role in American culture.  I am currently coediting and contributing to an essay collection on the classics and Anglo-American romanticism; planning another essay collection for the Thoreau Society to commemorate Thoreau’s bicentennial in 2017; and finishing a book on Hawthorne, Milton, and the idea of aristocracy in New England.  I am the Keeper of F. O. Matthiessen’s library at Harvard; coedit the journal, Religion and the Arts; and have just finished six years on the Thoreau Society’s Board of Directors (which gave me its Walter Harding Distinguished Service Award for 2012).

Selected Books
  • [Author], The New England Milton: Literary Reception and Cultural Authority in the Early Republic (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993)
  • [Editor], Translations volume of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (Princeton University Press, 1986)
  • [Editor], “Simplify, Simplify” and Other Quotations from Henry David Thoreau (Columbia University Press, 1996) [Revised paperback edition, 2012]
  • [Coeditor], Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology (Yale University Press, 2008), along with accompanying website
  • [Editorial contributor], eleven other published volumes of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (Princeton University Press), as well as works in other scholarly editions
Selected Articles
  • “Inside the Princeton Edition: ‘The Preaching of Buddha.’” Thoreau Society Bulletin No. 278 (Summer 2012): 3-5.
  • Longfellow and the New England Dante Tradition.”  Longfellow and Dante Special Issue.  Eds. Giuseppe Mazzotta and Arielle Saiber.  Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society Vol. 128.  The Bronx NY and Cambridge MA: Fordham University Press for the Dante Society of America, Inc., 2010 [pub. 2011].  181-189.
  • Transcendental Contexts: Greek and Roman Classics.”  The Oxford Handbook to Transcendentalism.  Eds. Joel A. Myerson, Sandy Petrulionis, and Laura Dassow Walls.  Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2010.  3-8.
  • Transcendentalism and Religion: The State of Play.”  Literature Compass.5/6 (2008): 1010-1024.  http://www.literature-compass.com
  • “Before Longfellow: Dante and the Polarization of New England.”  Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society.  Ed. Christopher Kleinhenz.  Vol. 119.  The Bronx NY and Cambridge MA: Fordham University Press for the Dante Society of America, Inc., 2001 [pub. 2003].  155-186.
  • “Reading Transcendentalist Texts Religiously: Emerson, Thoreau, and the Myth of Secularization.” Seeing into the Life of Things: Essays on Literature and Religious Experience.  Ed. John L. Mahoney.  The Bronx NY:  Fordham University Press, 1998.  152-170.
  • ‘The Tories, We . . . ’: Samuel Johnson and Unitarian Boston.”  The Age of Johnson: 1993.  Ed. Paul A. Korshin.  Vol. 6.  Westport CT: AMS Press, 1993.  75-97.
  • “True Pulpit Power:  ‘Natural History of Massachusetts’ and the Problem of Cultural Authority.” Studies in the American Renaissance: 1990.  Ed. Joel A. Myerson.  Charlottesville VA: University Press of Virginia, 1990.  119-147.
  • “Emerson, Milton, and the Fall of Uriel.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 30 (1984): 139-153.
  • “‘That Sainted Spirit’: William Ellery Channing and the Unitarian Milton.”Studies in the American Renaissance”: 1983.  Ed. Joel A. Myerson.  Charlottesville VA:  University Press of Virginia, 1983.  101-127.
  • “A Paradise Regained: Thoreau’s ‘Wild Apples’ and the Myth of the American Adam.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 27 (1981): 28-37.
  • “The Sources for Thoreau’s Greek Translations.”  Studies in the American Renaissance: 1980.  Ed. Joel A. Myerson.  Boston MA: Twayne Publishers, 1980.  291-299.
  • “The Paul Elmer More Books in the Proctor Foundation Library.”  Princeton University Library Chronicle 39 (1977): 11-17.
  • “A Note on Thoreau and Aeschylus.”  The Concord Saunterer: Quarterly of the Thoreau Lyceum, Concord MA 12.1 (1977): 11.The Age of Johnson, Vol. 6, ed. Paul A. Korshin (AMS Press, 1993) Dante Studies (2001)
New and Forthcoming:
  • [Editorial contributor], Correspondence (3 vols.) in The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (Princeton University Press, in press)
  • “American Transcendentalism.”  The Virgil Encyclopedia.  Ed. Richard Thomas
    and Jan M. Ziolkowski.  Oxford, England:  Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, [in press].
  • “Henry David Thoreau.”  The Virgil Encyclopedia.  Ed. Richard Thomas and Jan
    M. Ziolkowski.  Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, [in press].
Professional Activities
  • Co-editor of the journal Religion and the Arts (Brill Academic Publishers)
  • Keeper of the F. O. Matthiessen Room, Harvard University
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Thoreau Society, Inc. (2006-2012)
Scholarly Notes and Reference Book Entries:
  • “John Milton.” Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism. Ed. Wesley T. Mott.
    Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 1996. 119-120.
  • “A Note on Thoreau and Aeschylus.” The Concord Saunterer: Quarterly of the Thoreau Lyceum, Concord MA 12.1 (1977): 11.
Honors, Grants, Awards:
  • Walter Harding Memorial Distinguished Service Award, The Thoreau Society, Inc.
  • Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology supported by grants from the Baker Foundation, Cambridge MA; Boston University; Harvard University; and Yale University Press (2002–04).
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1985–86)
  • Research Grant, National Council of the Teachers of English (1978)
  • For a complete list of Scholarly Publications Click Here

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