Loyola University Chicago

Department of English


John (Jack) Kerkering

Title/s: Associate Professor

Specialty Area: 19th- and early 20th-century American literature and culture, poetry and poetics, national and racial identity

Office #: Crown Center 461

Phone: 83801



A.B., Harvard College (1991)

M.A. (1995), Ph.D. (1998), Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture; poetry and poetics; national and racial identity

Selected Publications

Recent Publications:


Racial Rhapsody:  The Aesthetics of Contemporary U.S. Identity, Routledge, 2019.

The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (A Choice “Outstanding Academic Title, 2004”).


“The South in Reconstruction: White and Black Voices.” The Cambridge History of American Poetry. Edited by Alfred Bendixen. Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 383-402.

“Theories of Poetry.” The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume Six:  The Nineteenth Century, c. 1830-c.1940. Edited by M. A. R. Habib. Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 524-38.

“Poe and Southern Poetry.” The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century Poetry. Edited by Kerry Charles Larson, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 193-207.


“American Renaissance Poetry and the Topos of Positionality: Genius Mundi and Genius Loci in Walt Whitman and William Gilmore Simms.” Victorian Poetry, vol. 43, no. 2, Summer 2005, pp. 223-48.

“‘Of Me and Of Mine’: The Music of Racial Identity in Whitman and Lanier, Dvorák and Du Bois.” American Literature, vol. 73, no. 1, March 2001, pp. 147-84.

“‘We are Five-and-Forty’: Meter and National Identity in Sir Walter Scott.” Studies in Romanticism, vol. 40, no. 1, Spring 2001, pp. 85-98.