UMass Boston

Holly Jackson

American Studies
Department Chairman
Wheatley Hall Floor 06

Areas of Expertise

American literature and culture; American protest movements and utopian thought; the 19th-century novel; the Civil War era; African American studies; queer studies.


PhD, Brandeis University

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Professor Jackson writes and speaks on 19th-century American cultural history for both scholarly audiences and the general public. Her research has been cited in USA Today, London Review of Books, American Scholar, CNBC, HuffPost, History News Network, National Public Radio, Chronicle of Higher Education, Black Issues Book Review, Arts and Letters Daily and other venues.

Conference presentations and invited talks:

Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, American Literature and Culture Seminar
Johns Hopkins University, “Humanities for All” event, a Mellon-funded partnership with the Community Colleges of Baltimore County 
Simmons College, Gay Memorial Lecture keynote speaker
Early African American Print Culture in Theory and Practice Symposium, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania.
Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and African American Identity Symposium, Duke University.
C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
Modernist Studies Association
American Literature Association
American Studies Association
African American Literature and Culture Society
Modern Language Association
Boston Book Festival
Tufts University English Department
Amherst College History Department

Courses Taught

American Romanticism;  Radical Boston: American Protest Literature to 1900;  Cultures of the American Civil War;  Reading Sexuality: Queer Theory; Sex, Family, and Nation in the American Novel;  American Gothic Fiction.


  • Massachusetts Book Awards, Non-fiction Honoree 2019
  • Smithsonian Magazine, Ten Best History Books of the Year, 2019
  • Norman Foerster Prize (for best essay published in American Literature), 2015
  • Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Article Prize, 2008