Maurice Lee

Associate Professor, English, College of Arts & Sciences

Maurice Lee’s scholarship focuses on authors such as Melville, Douglass, Poe, Stowe, Dickinson, and the Transcendentalists. His work tends to situate literature at the crossroads of intellectual and cultural history. His first book explores how writers used philosophical concepts to address the slavery crisis; and his second examines how authors encountered changing concepts of chance, not only in the domain of ideas (science, philosophy, theology), but also through developing social practices (gambling, insurance, weather forecasting, etc.).

Maurice is currently studying how mass print culture and quantitative methods shape the relationship between numbers and aesthetics in nineteenth-century American and British literature—a relationship that conditions current attitudes toward the digital humanities and accountability movement in education. Like his scholarship, his teaching asks how literature mediates ideas and experience, rational systems and everyday life. In addition to a range of survey courses, he teaches classes in nineteenth-century literature that focus on such topics as slavery, science, pragmatism, transcendental poetics, and information revolutions.