Benjamin Railton, Ph.D., Literature, English Studies | Fitchburg State University
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Faculty Directory » Benjamin Railton

English Studies

Office Hours:

Semester: Fall 2020
Please email Dr. Railton to schedule an appointment.

Office Information:

Room Number: Miller Hall 102A
Phone: 978.665.4805

Courses Taught:


Writing I (ENGL 1100)
Writing II (ENGL 1200)
American Literature I: Age of Exploration to the Civil War (ENGL 2000)
American Literature II: Civil War to the Present (ENGL 2100)
Ethnic American Literature (ENGL 2650)
American Novel to 1950 (ENGL 3220)
Major American Writers of the 20th Century
Intro to Science Fiction & Fantasy
English Studies Capstone
American History Fiction, Practice & Theory (Graduate)

American Studies

American Studies I (AMST 1800)
American Studies II (AMST 1900)
Senior Seminar: America in the Gilded Age

African-American Studies

Ethnic American Literature (AAST 2650)


Ph.D., Temple University (English, American Literature)
B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University (American History and Literature)

Research Interests:

American historical literature
American ethnic literature
American studies
American identity
Public scholarship
The Gilded Age
Contemporary literature

Current Projects:

Exclusion & Inclusion: The Battle to Define America
Black History is American History: Four Figures Who Changed the Story (manuscript in progress)
"Vincent J. Mara Excellence in Teaching Award" Spring 2015
"Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship" Spring 2014
"Two Wrongs and a Right: What the Chinese Exclusion Act Can Teach Us about America," AFLA Food for Thought Lecture, Spring 2015
American Studies Blog
Advisor, American Writers Museum
Editorial Board, Encyclopedia of American Studies

Representative Publications:

Numerous online pieces at sites such as HuffPost, the Washington Post's Made by History blog, and many others.


Railton, B. (2016). History and Hope in American Literature: Modeling Critical Patriotism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Railton, B. (2013). The Chinese Exclusion Act: What It Can Teach Us About America. Palgrave Pivot.

Railton, B. (2011). Redefining American Identity: From Cabeza de Vaca to Barack Obama. Palgrave Macmillan.

Railton, B. (2008). Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age 1976-1893. University Alabama Press.

Professional Affiliations:

MLA - Modern Language Association
ASA - American Studies Association
NeMLA - Northeast Modern Language Association (Past president)
NEASA - New England American Studies Association (President Ex Officio)
ALA - American Literature Association