Laurel Hankins


Laurel Hankins, PhD she/her

Associate Professor

English & Communication




Liberal Arts 337


Tufts UniversityPhD
Tufts UniversityMA
Bryn Mawr CollegeBA


  • American Literature to 1865
  • Literary Theory





Introduction to the College of Arts and Sciences. This course facilitates a smooth transition to college life through academic and life skills enhancement and the development of enduring relationships between students, faculty and advisors, and classmates. Topics include utilizing campus resources, the importance of co-curricular activities, time management, reading and notetaking, information literacy, and career and major/minor exploration.

A survey of literature written by people living in what is now the United States from the Atlantic world of the seventeenth century through the Civil War. Readings will include works by indigenous people, settler-colonists, enslaved and self-emancipated people, founding fathers, and burgeoning feminists written across multiple genres, including poetry, drama, and fiction.  

A study of 17th and 18th Century American literature from Captain John Smith through Benjamin Franklin with emphasis on the historical background and the various types of literature produced in the period.


Research activities

  • The Art of Retreat: Domestic Romanticisms in the Early United States, monograph under contract with Bucknell University Press
  • former President, Charles Brockden Brown Society advisory board (2020-21)


Research interests

  • U.S. Literature to 1865
  • Early U.S. and transatlantic romanticism
  • Sentimental and domestic fiction, especially the novel

Select publications

  • Laurel V. Hankins (2024).
    The Early National Picturesque
    The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art
  • Laurel V. Hankins (2023).
    Teaching in Crisis with Absalom Jones and Richard Allen
    Commonplace: The Journal of Early American Life
  • Laurel V. Hankins (2012).
    What the Folk Printed: Verse Culture and the Black Press in 1865 New Orleans
    African American Review, 45.4, 527-540.
  • Laurel V. Hankins (2014).
    The Voice of Nature: Hope Leslie and Early American Romanticism
    Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 31.2, 160-182.
  • Laurel V. Hankins (2014).
    The Art of Retreat: Salmagundi's Elbow-Chair Domesticity
    Nineteenth-Century Literature, 71.4, 431-456.

Additional links