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Faculty Directory » Michael Hoberman

English Studies

Office Hours:

Semester: Fall 2019
Thursday 11:00-12:15
Friday 9:30-10:45

Office Information:

Room Number: Miller Hall 213
Phone: (978) 665-3746

Courses Taught:

Special Authors: Philip Roth
New England Literature and Culture (senior seminar)
American Romanticism
Ethnic American Literature (ENGL 2650, AAST 2650)
African American Literature (19th and 20th centuries) (AAST 2670, ENGL 2670, AAST 2660, ENGL 2660)
American Novel Since WWII (ENGL 4230)
American Novel to 1950 (ENGL 3220)
Storytelling and the Oral Tradition (ENGL 2890)
Mark Twain & American Humor
American Literature I (ENGL 2000)
Children’s Literature (ENGL 2900)
World Literature I (ENGL 2400)
Writing I & II (ENGL 1100, ENGL 1200)
Jewish American Literature and Culture (undergraduate and graduate levels) (ENGL 3061)
Folklore in America (undergraduate and graduate levels) (ENGL 3880)
American Art and Literature, 1800-1860 (graduate)
Culture & Literature of (graduate)
American Modernism (graduate)


Ph.D. English and American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.A. English and American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
B.A. American Studies, Reed College

Research Interests:

Jewish American literature and culture
Folklore and oral history
New England literature and culture

Current Projects:

My book on Jewish American literature and the sense of place, A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History will be published by Rutgers University Press in December 2018 (

I recently co-edited a primary source reader entitled Jews in the Americas, 1776-1826 with Laura Leibman and Hilit Surowitz-Israel. That book was published in 2018 by Routledge.

Representative Publications:


New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America.  University of Massachusetts Press, 2011.

How Strange it Seems: Cultural Life of Jews in Small-Town New England. University of Massachusetts Press, 2008.

Yankee Moderns: Folk Regional Identity in the Sawmill Valley of Western Massachusetts, 1890-1920, University of Tennessee Press, 2000.

Invited Lectures

Rice University, Houston, TX. Featured speaker at upcoming conference on “Kabbalah in America” (October 2018).
University of Texas, Austin.  Guest lecturer at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies. (October 2015).
Wheaton College, Norton, MA.  Guest speaker for Norton Institute for Continuing Education (June 2014)
Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI.  Keynote speaker for film series on the Jewish experience (November 2013)


Sid and Ruth Lapidus Fellowship, American Jewish Historical Society (2014)

Tikvah Fund Advanced Institute Summer Fellowship, New York City (2014)

During 2008-2009, I conducted research for my book New Israel/New England while on a long-term NEH Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. I was a Fulbright Senior Professor of American Studies at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, during the first half of 2010. In 2013 I was the recipient of the Fitchburg State University Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.

Conference Presentations

“History’s Traitors: How Jewish Tories Trouble Early American Jewish Historiography.” Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Boston, December 2018.

“Colonial revival in the immigrant city: the invention of Jewish American urban history, 1870-1910.”  American Jewish Historical Society Biennial Scholars’ Conference.  Philadelphia, June 2018. 

“To prove the correctness and authenticity of my statements”: Solomon Nunes Carvalho’s revision of the Western travel narrative.”  Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS).  Cambridge, MA, April 2017.

Roundtable participant, colloquy on Sympathetic Puritans, by Abram Van Engen. American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.  Minneapolis, April 2017.

“Home of the Jewish Nation: London Jews in the Early American Imagination.”  Society of Early Americanists.  Kingston University, London, July 2014.

“Egyptian Principles Fastened to the People of Israel”: Particularist and Universalist Implications of Exodus in Antebellum America.”  Blacks, Jews, and Social Justice in America conference, Brandeis University, June 2014.

“"I hope you are safe arrived": fatherly counsel from an 18th century Canadian Jewish merchant.”  Northeast Modern Language Association Conference.  Harrisburg PA, March 2014.

Moderator/commentator for “How Tolerant?: Religious Liberty and Persecutions in 18th Century America.”  “The Spectacle of Toleration” Conference.  Newport, RI, October 2013.

Articles and Reviews

“Home of the Jewish Nation: London Jews in the eighteenth century Anglo American Imagination.”  Eighteenth Century Studies 51.1 (Fall 2017)

"God Loves the Hebrews": Exodus Typologies, Jewish Slaveholding, and Black Peoplehood in Antebellum America. Forthcoming in American Jewish Archives Journal Fall 2015.

"How it Will End, the Blessed God Knows": A Reading of Jewish correspondence during the American Revolutionary War era.  Forthcoming in American Jewish History, October 2015

“More Disgrace than Honor: The Diminishment of Paternal Authority in the Letters of Aaron
Hart.” American Jewish History, 98.4 (Fall 2014).

“‘The Confidence placed in you is of the Greatest Magnitude’: representations of paternal authority in early Jewish American letters.”  Studies in American Jewish Literature, 33.1 (Spring 2014).

“Rural Jews,” “Galina Gertzenson,” “Phyllis and Archie Nahman,” and “Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman,” essay contributions to the book Our Stories: The Jews of Western Massachusetts  Forthcoming from the Springfield Republican newspaper, 2014.

“Preppies,” and “Boarding Schools,” essay entries in The Encyclopedia of Youth Cultures in America, eds. Simon Bronner, Mary Napoli, and Cindy Dell Clark. M.E. Sharpe (2014).

“‘Under Their Captivity and Dispersion’: the story of Boston’s first Jewish business venture.”  Early American Studies, 9.3 (Fall 2012).

“Be Worthy of Your Heritage: Jews and Tradition at Two New England Boarding Schools.”  In Revisioning Ritual: Jewish Traditions in Transition, ed. by Simon Bronner.  Littman Library of Jewish Civilization (2011).

“Connecticut Folklore,” “The Leatherman,” “Moodus Thunder,” “Windham Frog Fright,” and “The Ghost Ship of New Haven” in Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online (a joint project of the Connecticut Humanities Council, Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut).  Forthcoming in 2011.

“New England Folklore.” Chapter included in the New England volume of the American Regional Cultures series. Greenwood Press (2004).

“The Names of the Flowers: Ruby Hemenway’s Redemption of History.” Frontiers: A
Journal of Women’s Studies, 25.1 (Winter/Spring 2004).

“The Jews,”“The Berkshires,” and “The Mohawk Trail” essays in The Encyclopedia of New England Culture (eds. Burt Feintuch and David Watters). Yale University Press, 2005.

“Local Color: How Community Heritage Enhances Education.” Connection: New England's Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development, XVI.1 (Summer 2001).

“High Crimes and Falling Factories: Nostalgic Utopianism in an Eclipsed New England Town,” Oral History Review, 28.1 (Winter/Spring 2001).

“From Yankeedom to Hippiedom: A Public Folklorist Explores Four Generations of the Moores Corner Store,” Journal of Applied Folklore Volume 5.

“Demythologizing Myth Criticism: Folklife and Modernity in Eudora Welty’s ‘Death of a Travelling Salesman,” The Southern Quarterly, 30.1 (Fall, 1991): 24-34.

Book reviews published in American Historical Review, Journal of American Folklore, Clio, and Journal of the Illinois Historical Society.

Senior Consulting Editor for folklife section of Encyclopedia of New England Culture

Professional Affiliations:

Association for Jewish Studies