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MemberTeresa Goddu

Teresa A. Goddu is Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is a specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and culture. Her research and teaching focus on slavery and antislavery, race and American culture, the history of the book, genre studies, as well as print, material and visual culture. She is the author of Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation (Columbia University Press) and Selling Antislavery: Abolition and Mass Media in Antebellum America (University of Pennsylvania Press). Her recent research focuses on the environmental humanities. She is writing a book-length study of contemporary U.S. climate fiction and she curates a climate fiction collection at the Vanderbilt library. 

Membernispero

I am a scholar of U.S. and Latin American literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, my first book and my current projects reflect a transnational approach to the cultural history of capitalism. They address a common broad question: how are our local and national identities shaped by and through popular economic and political narratives? My book, A Cultural History of Underdevelopment: Latin America in the U.S. Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2016) explores how Americans have mapped the hemisphere from the mid-19th century to the end of the Cold War in terms of an economic geography in which the United States was a rich nation among poor ones. The most common term for this geography and condition of poverty has been “underdevelopment,” a term from the social sciences that has also drawn on cultural generalizations about the origins and the spaces of poverty. Since I arrived at Wayne State, I have also taught and writen about the history and culture of Detroit, especially in the ways its image circulates outside the city–as the Motor City, Motown, the Arsenal of Democracy, and the city of ruins. My new project, Keywords for the Age of Austerity, is an evolving online work of historical etymology and cultural criticism. I trace the history of economic concepts in the mass media, uncovering the history and common use of popular terms like “accountability,” “entrepreneur,” and “innovation.”