Joshua Pederson

Associate Professor, Humanities

Teaching Interests

Trauma theory, modernist and contemporary literature, religion and literature, the Bible, and ethics

Research Interests

Trauma theory, twentieth-century American literature, religion and literature, and the Bible


The Forsaken Son: Child Murder and Atonement in Modern American Fiction (Northwestern University Press, May 2016).

Sin Sick: Moral Injury in Literature (Cornell University Press, forthcoming February 2021)

Selected Publications

“Cognitive Approaches to Trauma and Literature.”  Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma.  Eds. Colin Davis and Hanna Meretoja.  Forthcoming.

 “Toward a Literary Theory of Moral Injury.”  Narrative.  Forthcoming, 2020.

 “Dangerous God, Sacred Work: Ned Cobb’s Theology.”  Religion and Literature.  Forthcoming, 2019.

“Trauma and Narrative.”  Cambridge Critical Concepts: Trauma and Literature.  Ed. Roger Kurtz.  Cambridge University Press.  2018.

“The Writer as Dervish: Sufism and Poetry in Orhan Pamuk.” Religion and Literature. Fall 2014.

“Speak, Trauma: Toward a Revised Understanding of Literary Trauma and Theory.” Narrative. Fall 2014.

“Signifying Moses to Death: Hurston and Reed, Disowning Exodus.” Twentieth-Century Literature. Fall 2012.

“Gnostic Mantra: Reading Religious Syncretism in Ginsberg’s ‘Plutonian Ode’.” Religion and Literature. Spring-Summer 2010.

“The Gospel of Thomas (Pynchon): Abandoning Eschatology in Gravity’s Rainbow.” Religion and the Arts. Spring 2010.

“’More Life’ and More: Harold Bloom, the J Writer, and the Archaic Judaism of Angels in America.” Contemporary Literature. Fall 2009.

“Building the Aural Stage: Beckett’s Embers and Visual Radio.” In Making the Stage: Essays on the Changing Concept of Theatre, Drama, and Performance. Ann C. Hall, editor. (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

Other Professional Activity and/or Awards

The James Phelan Award for the Best Essay in Narrative, 2014.

Humanities Foundation Fellowship, Boston University, 2008