E. Thomas Finan

Senior Lecturer, Humanities

Teaching Interests

Classical literature and philosophy, the epic, American literature from the Puritans to the present, Renaissance art and literature, transnational Romanticism, literary/cultural Modernism, and lyric poetry

Research Interests

Narratives of the real in American literature, American intellectual history, connections between philosophy and literature

Selected Publications


The Other Side Stories. Fieldnor Press, 2010.


Inside the Ruins: On Derek Walcott’s Life and Work,” The Millions, April 2017

An Essential Human Respect: Reading Walt Whitman During Troubled Times,” The Millions, September 2016

“Geoffrey Crayon’s Reflections on the Puritanical Pleasures of Candlepin Bowling,” Prairie Schooner, August 2016

“‘Captivity is Consciousness’: Consciousness and its Revisions in Dickinson’s Poetry,” The Emily Dickinson Journal 24.2 (2015): 24-45.

“Frederick Douglass, Defender of the Liberal Arts,” The Atlantic, April 2015

“‘The Lords of Life’: Fractals, Recursivity, and ‘Experience,’” Philosophy & Rhetoric 45.1 (2012): 65-88.


“Opening Books: Reading Virginia Woolf on Reading,” Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, Washington, DC, October 2016

Walden’s Experimental Jeremiad,” American Literature Association, Boston, May 2015

“Conversations with Longfellow: The Aftershocks of His Poetry,” American Literature Association: Symposium on American Poetry, Savannah, October 2014

Panel Chair, “The Long…Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Poem,” American Literature Association: Symposium on American Poetry, Savannah, October 2014

“New Atlantic Utopias: Rhetorical Response in Emerson and the Puritans,” American Literature Association, Boston, May 2013

“‘It Ain’t in Me No More’: Morphologies of Loss and Change in The Wire,” New England Modern Language Association, Boston, March 2013

“Revolutionary Realism: Emerson, Howells, and the Evolution of the American ‘Real,’” American Comparative Literature Association, Providence, March 2012

“Reflection and Tradition: Some Humanistic Observations on Reforming K-12 English Education,” Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Denver; October 2009.

“Visions and Re-Visions: The Whole and the Part in Editing Dickinson and Whitman,” Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Philadelphia; October 2008.

“Emily Dickinson and the Captivity of Consciousness,” American Literature Association, Boston; May 2007.

Other Professional Activity and/or Awards

Editorial Board, IMPACT: The Journal of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning, 2011.