James Duesterberg



Research Interests: 

19th century American literature; contemporary aesthetics and culture; the fin-de-siècle; critical theory; and Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy

Graduation Year: 


Dissertation Title: 

"Inorganic Form: Nature, the Aesthetic, and America in Literature, 1839-1998"


James received his B.A. in the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities from Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include 19th century American literature, contemporary aesthetics and culture, the fin-de-siècle, critical theory, and Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. He has taught classes on Melville and on 19th century American literary aesthetics.

He is writing a dissertation on the “organic form” of nature, aesthetic experience and social life as represented in 19th century American writing (including Melville, Poe, Gilman, and Du Bois) and in such writing’s afterlives (including the aesthetics and environments of contemporary life).