Cody Marrs (Ph.D., UC Berkeley) teaches and writes about American literary history, with particular interests in poetry, aesthetic theory, and the long nineteenth century. His first book, Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2015), argues that the Civil War takes shape not as a discrete rupture around which “antebellum” and “postbellum” eras can be plotted, but as a multilinear upheaval. Focusing on the later writings of Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson, he shows how the works shaped by the Civil War also eclipse that conflict, extending into a vast array of other times and places. The book was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. It was also the subject of a roundtable discussion in Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life.
In 2016, he was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Outstanding Assistant Professor in the Arts and Humanities. In 2011, he was awarded the Hennig Cohen Prize for the best essay or book chapter on Herman Melville. A recipient of fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, and the Willson Center for the Humanities at UGA, he is currently working on several projects. He is writing The Civil War: A Literary History (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press), a book about the five stories that have been told about the war, from the nineteenth-century to the twenty-first. With Christopher Hager, he is co-editing Timelines of American Literature (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press), a collection of essays—each organized around an unfamiliar date range—that seek to reperiodize and reimagine American literary history. He is also the editor of The New Melville Studies (under contract with Cambridge University Press), as well as “Late Melvilles,” a special issue of Leviathan about the style and politics of Melville’s later writings.
His recent work can also be found in A History of Civil War Literature, ed. Coleman Hutchison (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and in journals such as American Literature and J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.
Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
Articles and Chapters:
"Dickinson in the Anthropocene," forthcoming in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
"Introduction: Late Melvilles," special issue of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies (October 2016): 1-10.
"Afterword: Archiving the War," co-authored with Christopher Hager, in A History of American Civil War Literature, ed. Coleman Hutchison (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
"Against 1865: Reperiodizing the Nineteenth Century," co-authored with Christopher Hager, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 1.2 (Fall 2013): 259-284.
"Frederick Douglass in 1848," American Literature 85.3 (September 2013): 447-473.
"Clarel and the American Centennial," Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 13.3 (October 2011): 98-114.
"Whitman's Latencies: Hegel and the Politics of Time in Leaves of Grass," Arizona Quarterly 67.1 (Spring 2011): 47-72.
"A Wayward Art: Battle-Pieces and Melville's Poetic Turn," American Literature 82.1 (March 2010): 91–119. (Awarded the Hennig Cohen Prize for the best essay or chapter in Melville studies.)