John Young


Educational Background
PhD, Northwestern University, 1998

Interests and Specializations
20th Century British and American Literature

John Young (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1998). I joined Marshall in 2000, where I study and teach 20th/21st-century American, British, and Anglophone literatures, focusing especially on the social dimensions of textual scholarship. Through the documentary traces of textual production (drafts, manuscripts, alternate published versions, advertisements, covers, etc.) my research investigates the ways in which social and cultural systems impinge on texts as both material and immaterial entities (or what we might call the “outside” and “inside” of books).

Current scholarly projects include The Souls of Black Texts, which will apply W.E.B. Du Bois’s idea of double consciousness to the drafts and published versions of major 20th– and 21st-century African American works (by Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, and Claudia Rankine) and a series of essays on Jean Toomer’s periodical publications. Previous publications include How to Revise a True War Story: Tim O’Brien’s Processes of Textual Production (University of Iowa Press, 2017), Publishing Blackness: Textual Constructions of Race since 1850, co-edited with George Hutchinson (University of Michigan Press, 2012), Black Writers, White Publishers (University Press of Mississippi, 2006), and various articles on the production histories of modernist and postmodernist literature. I have also edited a posthumous edition of poetry by Judy Young, A Careful Hunger (University Press of Kentucky, 2019). I am currently serving as Executive Director of the Society for Textual Scholarship.

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