Alexander Jacobs


I'm originally from Philadelphia and completed my undergraduate degree in English at Stanford University. My dissertation is about what lives in the shadow of the American Dream, that is, failure and failing. I focus on various literary and non-literary archives from late 19th century America to track the political subject’s relationship to historical trauma and self-fashioned interiority. As a whole I work to reconceive our understanding of American naturalism, the event and temporality, and failure and its affects. When I'm not writing or teaching I'm usually walking my dog.

Research Interests: 

19th century American literature; 20th century American literature; poetry and poetics; affect theory; ethics; African-American literature


Course Assistant for

  • English 25407 Emily Dickinson 
  • English 22800 Chicago
  • English 16600 Shakespeare II: Tragedies and Romances 

Stand Alone Courses: 

  • English: 26207 Success, Failure and the American Dream 

I'm also credentialed to teach English 13000 (Little Red Schoolhouse), Advanced Undergraduate and Professional Writing