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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature

Faculty and Staff Directory

Greg Forter

Department of English Language and Literature

Phone Number: (803) 576-5895
Office: HUO 517
Website:Visit Site


PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1998

Areas of Specialization 

   Postcolonial literature and theory
   Twentieth-Century US literature
   Historical fiction
   Gender studies and feminist theory
   Critical race theory

Recently Taught Courses 

   History and Utopia in Contemporary Fiction
   Postcolonial Historical Fiction
   Modern American Literature
   Modernist Masculinities
   Masculinity in Contemporary US Film

Current Research Projects 

I'm currently writing a book entitled "Atlantic and Other Worlds: Critique and Utopia in Postcolonial Historical Fiction." It proposes that the recent flowering of historical fictions about colonialism and its aftermath can help us move beyond some impasses in postcolonial thought—especially around the resistant value of mimicry-hybridity, the question of how colonized societies participated in the making of modernity, and the theoretical rift between the black Atlantic (and slavery) on one hand, the Indian Ocean world (and territorial colonialism) on the other. The project argues, too, that these fictions provide utopian alternatives to colonial domination that are sufficiently self-critical and skeptical to address the most profound, poststructuralist suspicion of utopianism. Authors discussed in the study include Amitav Ghosh, Marlon James, Patrick Chamoiseau, J.G. Farrell, Hari Kunzru, Marlene van Niekerk, Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, Nalo Hopkinson, Barry Unsworth, Zoe Wicomb.

Selected Publications 

   Atlantic and Other Worlds: Critique and Utopia in Postcolonial Historical Fiction,” PMLA 131.5 (October 2016): 1328-43
   “‘A Good Head and a Better Whip’: Ireland, Enlightenment, and the Body of Slavery in Marlon James’s The Book of Night Women,” Slavery and Abolition 37.3 (2016): 521-40 (special issue on Ireland and Atlantic World Slavery, eds. Fionnghuala Sweeney, Fionnuala Dillane, Maria Stewart)

   Gender, Race, and Mourning in American Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2011)
   Murdering Masculinities: Fantasies of Gender and Violence in the American Crime Novel (New York UP, 2000)

   “Faulkner and Trauma: On Sanctuary’s Originality,” Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner (Cambridge UP, 2015)
   “Colonial Trauma, Utopian Carnality, Modernist Form: Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Toni Morrison’s Beloved,” Contemporary Approaches in Literary Trauma Theory (Palgrave, 2014)
   “Barry Unsworth and the Arts of Power: Historical Memory, Utopian Fictions,” Contemporary Literature 51.4 (2011)
   “Freud, Faulkner, Caruth: Trauma and the Politics of Literary Form,” Narrative 15.3 (2007)
   “Against Melancholia: Contemporary Mourning Theory, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and the Politics of Unfinished Grief,” differences (2003)