Montana State University

David Agruss, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Comparative Literature (British, French, and Russian), Cornell University
B.A. English and French Literature, Wesleyan University

Office: Wilson 2-275
Phone: 406-994-5192
E-Mail: david DOT agruss AT msu DOT montana DOT edu

Office Hours: On research leave, Fall 2014

Biography and Research Interests:

David Agruss received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Comparative Literature (British, French, and Russian) from Cornell University and his B.A. in English and French Literature from Wesleyan University. Before joining the faculty of Montana State University, he taught in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale University. He specializes in Victorian literature and culture, with interests in gender, sexuality, empire, colonialism, science, travel and adventure fiction, and popular youth culture in nineteenth-century Britain. His current book project, Between Boys: Metropolitan Masculinity and the Colonial Imaginary in Victorian England, examines the relationship between boyhood masculinity, imagined scenes of colonialism, and cross-racial identification in nineteenth-century boys’ public school fiction, colonial adventure fiction, and island-stranding fiction. This project is particularly interested in the affective labor of imagining during the Victorian period and in how imagined scenes of colonial encounter and racial difference work not merely to inflect but to produce and regulate normative masculinity and sexuality in the metropole. This project also investigates how the afterlives of these Victorian colonial imaginings—from Survivor and Fear Factor to Abercrombie & Fitch clothing catalogs and the particularly American obsession with spring break—continue to produce normative gender and sexuality in twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular culture. His other Victorian research interests include geology, paleontology, and natural history; Russia and Central and South America in popular culture; Roman ruins; antivivisection debates; lost-world novels and the emergence of science fiction; and Victorian cookbooks and animal pain.

Recent Courses:

Dracula and Its Afterlives: Race, Sexuality, Xenotransplantation, HIV/AIDS (LIT 438, Studies in Literary Topics).

Youth, Empire, and Adventure: Travel and Displacement in Twentieth-Century British Literature (LIT 371, Twentieth-Century British/American Literature).

Lost Worlds: Race, Gender, Colonialism, Temporality (LIT 326, Nineteenth-Century British Literature).

Theoretical Approaches to Gender and Sexuality (ENGL 510, Critical Theory and Practice).

Introduction to Literary Studies: The Suburban Experience (LIT 201).

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century British Literature (LIT 371, Twentieth-Century British/American Literature).

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Updated: 07/21/2014