James Stephen Mulholland

Associate Professor

Picture of James Stephen Mulholland


I am Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Programs in the English department. My work focuses on the global eighteenth century, primarily on British poetry and Anglo-Indian literature. My book Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire, 1730-1820 (Johns Hopkins, 2013) uncovers the close relationship between the evolution of eighteenth-century poetry, the creation of a British nation, and colonial expansion overseas. My next project focuses on the Indian Ocean world and argues for the importance of regional—not just international—dynamics for emergence of Anglo-Indian literature during the eighteenth century. In 2016-17 I was the ACLS Burkhardt Fellow in residence at the National Humanities Center. 

Funded Research

My research has been funded with assistance from the ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship, NC State's Lightning Rod grant, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Emory University's Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Marion Jasper Whiting Fellowship, the ASECS/ Paula Backscheider Archival Fellowship, the Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship. 



Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire, 1730-1820  (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). (Find it here. Or here.


"An Indian It-Narrative and the Problem of Circulation: Reoncisdering a Useful Concept for Literary Study" MLQ 79.4 (2018) (Link to TOC here.)

"Impersonating Islanders: Inauthenticity, Sexuality, and the Making of the Tahitian Speaker in 1770s British Poetry." The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation (2016). (Web copy here.)

"Measuring Literature: Digital Humanities, Behavioral Economics, and the Problem of Data in Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century." Common-place (2016). (Read it here.)

"What I've Learned about Publishing a Book" Journal of Scholarly Publishing (2014). (Web copy here.)

“Connecting Eighteenth-Century India: The Translocal Poetics of William and Anna Maria Jones” in Representing Place in British Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century: From Local to Global. (Ashgate, 2013). 

"What I've Learned about Revising a Dissertation" Journal of Scholarly Publishing (2011). (Web copy here.

“James Macpherson, Oral Traditions, and the Invention of Voice.” Oral Tradition (2009). (Web copy here. Link to audio here.)

“Gray’s Ambition: Printed Voices and Performing Bards in the Later Poetry.”  ELH (2008). (Web copy here.)

“‘To Sing the Toils of Each Revolving Year’: Song and Poetic Authority in Stephen Duck’s ‘The Thresher’s Labour’.”  Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2004).

Professional Writing

“Academics: Forget About Public Engagement; Stay in Your Ivory Towers” The Guardian (Dec. 10, 2015). (Read it here.)

“It’s Time to Stop Mourning the Humanities” The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 1, 2010). (Read it here.)

“Neither a Trap nor a Lie: A Reply to Thomas Benton” The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 12, 2010). (Read it here.

“Life at the Center” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov. 24, 2009). (Read it here.)

“Just Win?” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 18, 2009). (Read it here.)

“Signposting and Frontloading” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Dec. 5, 2008). (Read it here.)

“Money, Money, Money” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct. 3, 2008). (Read it here.)

“Teaching and Learning the 9/11 Novel”; interview with “American Fiction Notes” (May 2009). (Read it here.)


  • PHD in English from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2005
  • BA in English from University of Virginia, 1997