Skip to main content
Skip to main menu

Slideshow

Cody Marrs

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Professor of American Literature

Cody Marrs is a Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author or editor of several books, and more than a dozen articles, about American literature. His most recent book, Not Even Past: The Stories We Keep Telling About the Civil War (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), chronicles the primal narratives that have guided American memories of the Civil War. To disclose how these narratives evolved over time and why they acquired lasting power, he examines a wide range of stories, from nineteenth-century novels to modern-day movies. Not Even Past was featured in Time Magazine and won the Montaigne Medal for the "most thought-provoking book." It was also named to several shortlists (e.g., "Books to Quarantine With," "Escape the News") and reviewed in venues such as History Today, the New York Journal of Books, and Times Higher Education

His previous book, Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examined four major writersWalt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Frederick Douglasswho not only lived through the Civil War but also wrote about it for a long time afterwards. Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, awarded Honorable Mention in the SAMLA Studies Book Prize, and reviewed in venues such as American Literature, the Journal of American Studies, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts.

He is an avid editor. His edited collection The New Melville Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2019) considers how to read Melville today, in light of the 21st century's artistic, ecological, and philosophical concerns. With Christopher Hager, he co-edited Timelines of American Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), a volume that reimagines the defining epochs and eras of American literary history. Exploring a set of new and unorthodox periodizations (e.g., "1871 to the Present," "The Age of Warhol," "The Age of Van Buren"), the essays in Timelines recast how American literature is read, taught, and conceptualized. In addition, he is the General Editor of American Literature in Transition: The Long Nineteenth Century, a four-volume series forthcoming from Cambridge University Press that synthesizes recent and emerging changes in nineteenth-century American literary studies. American Literature in Transition: The Long Nineteenth Century involves more than 100 contributors from around the world. 

His work has appeared in journals such as American Literature, American Literary History, and J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and in edited volumes such as The New Emily Dickinson Studies and African American Literature in Transition. A recipient of the Hennig Cohen Prize in Melville studies, UGA's Presidential Early Career Award, and fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, and the Willson Center for the Humanities at UGA, he is currently writing a book about Melville and aesthetics. He serves on the editorial boards for J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for the American Literature Society.

Born and raised in Kansas, he received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2010. He began teaching at UGA that same year and was tenured in 2016. In recent years, he has taught classes on Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and American poetry, as well as courses on broader topics such as "Literature and Philosophy" and "Aesthetics and Politics." He lives with his wife, Kristin, and their two children, Harper and Caleb, in Athens, GA.

 

Not Even Past

 

Timelines

 

New Melville Studies

 

Long Civil War

 

Authored Books:

Not Even Past: The Stories We Keep Telling About the Civil War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.

Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Edited Books:

Nineteenth-Century American Literature in Transition, Vol. 3: 1851-1877 (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press)

Timelines of American Literature, co-edited with Christopher Hager. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.

The New Melville Studies. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Edited Series:

General Editor for American Literature in Transition: The Long Nineteenth Century, 4 volumes (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press)

Guest Editor:

Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies. Special Issue on "Late Melvilles," 18.3 (October 2016).

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Frederick Douglass and the ‘Moral Chemistry of the Universe,’” in Crossings: Nineteenth-Century American Literature on the Move, ed. Edward Sugden (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press)

Battle-Pieces and the Problem of Beauty,” in The Oxford Handbook on Herman Melville, eds. Jennifer Greiman and Michael Jonik (forthcoming, Oxford University Press)

"The Civil War and the Future of American Literature," in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the Civil War and Reconstruction, eds. Kathleen Diffley and Coleman Hutchison (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press)

"The Civil War in African American Memory," in African American Literature in Transition, 1865-1880, eds. Eric Gardner and Joycelyn Moody (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 213-232.

"1866 and After: Jane Jackson, Herman Melville, and the Literature of Emancipation," in Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image, eds. Kathleen Diffley and Benjamin Fagan (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019), 219-228.

“Introduction,” co-authored with Christopher Hager, in Timelines of American Literatureeds. Cody Marrs and Christopher Hager (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), 1-9.

"Drum-Taps and the Chaos of War," in "This Mighty Convulsion": Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War, eds. Christopher Sten and Tyler Hoffman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019), 119-134.

"Dickinson's Physics," in The New Emily Dickinson Studies, ed. Michelle Kohler (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 155-167.

“Introduction: Melville Studies, Old and New," In The New Melville Studies, ed. Cody Marrs (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 1-10.

"Three Theses on Reconstruction," American Literary History 30.3 (Fall 2018): 407-428

"Dickinson in the Anthropocene," ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture 63.2 (2017): 201-225

"Introduction: Late Melvilles," Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 18.3 (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), 331-342.

"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.)

Reprints

“Frederick Douglass in 1848,” in the Norton Critical Edition of My Bondage and My Freedom, eds. Nicholas Bromell and Blake Gilpin (New York: W.W. Norton, 2020)

Drum-Taps and the Chaos of War,” in This Mighty Convulsion: Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War, eds. Christopher Sten and Tyler Hoffman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019), 119-134

Education:

Ph.D. in English, UC Berkeley, 2010

B.A. in English, University of Kansas, with departmental and university honors, 2004

Support English at UGA

We greatly appreciate your generosity. Your gift enables us to offer our students and faculty opportunities for research, travel, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Support the efforts of the Department of English by visiting our giving section. 
Give Now 

EVERY DOLLAR CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEPARTMENT HAS A DIRECT IMPACT ON OUR STUDENTS AND FACULTY.