Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
American literature, critical theory
Mark Noble teaches courses on American literature, philosophy, and culture. His seminars offer focused readings on topics like Gothic fiction, nature writing, poetic modernism, and critical theory.
Dr. Noble’s first book, American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge UP), links American poets who combine classical materialism and cutting-edge science to rethink the composition of the person. His readings track both the delights and the pitfalls facing poets who experiment with dazzling new models of human experience while contending with the limits of scientific knowledge.
Dr. Noble’s research draws widely on the history of science, nineteenth-century prose, modernist aesthetics, and the environmental humanities. Recent essays explore Martin Delany’s speculative fiction, Melville’s political satire, reactions to Civil War photography, and Thoreau’s documentation of forest life. His work appears in American Literature, Nineteeth-Century Literature, J19, and various edited collections.
“Literature and Science: Delany’s Cosmos.” American Literature in Transition: 1851-1877. Ed. Cody Mars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022
“Ahab after Agency.” Ahab Unbound: Melville and the Materialist Turn. Eds. Meredith Farmer and Jonathan Schroeder. University of Minnesota Press, 2022.
“The Riddle of Forest Succession.” Dispersion: Thoreau and Vegetal Life. Eds. Branka Arsić and Vesna Kuiken. New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.
“Apocalyptic Violence in Visual Media.” Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture. Ed. John Hay, 30-41. Cambridge University Press, 2021.
“Havoc in a Small Voice: George Oppen’s Materials.” Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics 46 (2018).
Noble, Mark. “Reading Melville Reading Character.” J19 4.2 (2016): 235-47.
Noble, Mark. “Nothing Inorganic.” Review of Bird Relics by Branka Arsić. Los Angeles Review of Books. June 12, 2016.
American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
“The Ends of Imagination: Wallace Stevens’ Impersonal.” American Impersonal: Essays with Sharon Cameron. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.
“Emerson’s Atom and the Matter of Suffering.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 64.1 (2009): 16-47.
“Whitman’s Atom and the Crisis of Materiality in the Early Leaves of Grass.” American Literature 81.2 (2009): 253-279.