Bruce Burgett


Bruce Burgett

B.A. English, University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. English, University of California, Berkeley

Mailing Box: 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


I believe that lively teaching requires lively research, and that both need to be tied closely to complex problems that arise in everyday life. In order to maximize the interplay between these activities, I dedicate time in the classroom to teaching students how they think about the world as researchers. To do this, I stage classroom experiences that enable us to engage with the materials at hand, while also modeling ways of understanding our relationship to those materials not simply as passive consumers of pre-packaged information, but as creators of new knowledge for ourselves, for our fellow students, and for the various worlds that we inhabit in other aspects of our lives. All of my classes ask and enable students to engage actively and critically with course materials in a variety of interdisciplinary contexts.

In addition to teaching in IAS and at UW Bothell, I am adjunct faculty in the English Department at UW Seattle where I teach occasional graduate courses and supervise doctoral work. I also work with UW graduate students through the UW’s graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship, which I helped to found.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry; or, Knowledge Travels
BIS 367 Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity
BIS 368 Sex, Love, Romance
BIS 370 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
BIS 470 Art, Politics, and Social Change: Critical Theories of Public Culture
BIS 490 Senior Seminar: Intersections of Sex and Race
BIS 495 Internship Worlds of Work
BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone
BCULST 500 Formations of Cultural Studies
BCULST/BPOLST 591 Graduate Research Colloquium
HUM 594 Scholarship as Public Practice


My research interests fall into several broad categories: American studies, cultural studies, queer studies, critical race studies, and interdisciplinary and public scholarship. My first book, Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic (Princeton UP), focused on the intersection of these fields in the specific context of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century United States. In 2007, I co-edited (with Glenn Hendler) Keywords for American Cultural Studies(NYU Press) and co-developed an interactive website that extends its inquiries: Keywords for American Cultural Studies. A second, expanded edition of the book and website appeared in 2014, and a third edition is scheduled to appear in 2020. At the UW, I have co-directed or developed a number of collaborations and lecture series: “Thinking Sex in Transnational Times” in 2002-2003 (with Chandan Reddy); “Placing the Humanities: New Locations, New Meanings” in 2004-2005 and the “Cultural Studies Praxis Collective” in 2005-2008 (with Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren); the Simpson Center for the Humanities’ week-long “Institute in the Public Humanities for Doctoral Students in 2005-2009 and “Platforms for Public Scholarship” in 2009-2010 (with Miriam Bartha); and the “Project for Interdisciplinary Pedagogy” beginning in 2004 (with Martha Groom and David Goldstein) beginning in 2004. I serve on the Press Committee of the University of Washington Press, and have co-directed the UW graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship.

Beyond the UW, I serve or have served on the advisory and editorial boards of three journals, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Lateral: A Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. I am the Past President of the Cultural Studies Association, the Past Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Humanities Washington, the humanities council for Washington State.

Selected Publications

  • Keywords for American Cultural Studies. New York: NYU Press, 2007 and 2014.
  • Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1998.
  • “Why Public Scholarship Matters for Graduate Education” (co-authored with Miriam Bartha), Pedagogy, 15, 1 (January 2015), 31-43.
  • “Art Gave Permission to Agitate” (with Miriam Bartha, Pam Korza, and Elizabeth Thomas), Public: A Journal of Imagining America (Autumn 2013).
  • “Critical Purchase in Neoliberal Times” (with Ien Ang, Miriam Bartha, Ron Krabill), Lateral: A Journal of the Cultural Studies Association (Spring 2013).
  • “The Affirmative Character of Cultural Studies,” International Journal of Cultural Studies (forthcoming – available on-line before print, October 2011).
  • “Lateral Moves – Across Disciplines,” Lateral: A Journal of the Cultural Studies Association (Spring 2012).
  • “Teaching Interdisciplinarity,” Pedagogy, 11.3 (2011), 465-491.
  • “Sex, Panic, Nation,” American Literary History (2009), 1-20.
  • “The History of x in Early America,” Early American Literature (2009), 215-225.
  • “On the Mormon Question: Race, Sex, and Polygamy in the U.S. 1850s and 1990s,” American Quarterly, 57, 1 (March 2005), 75-102.
  • “The Heart of Civilization, Journal of British and American Studies, 10 (2004).
  • “Between Speculation and Population: The Problem of ‘Sex’ in Our Long Eighteenth Century” Early American Literature (special issue on “Interiority”), 37, 1 (2002).

Meet Bruce Burgett