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Michael Kramp Professor of English at Lehigh University

Michael Kramp


0035 - Drown Hall

PhD, Washington State University, 2000

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Additional Interests

  • Men and masculinity
  • Jane Austen
  • Critical theory, with an emphasis on the relationships between nation, gender, and race
  • Visual culture, specifically film and early photography
  • Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Critical Theory
  • Health Humanities

Research Statement

My scholarly research focuses around four main areas: 

  • Men and masculinity
  • Jane Austen
  • Critical theory, with an emphasis on the relationships between nation, gender, and race 
  • Visual culture, specifically film and early photography 

Most recently, I have been interested in the creative resilience of patriarchy to sustain white male supremacy and the ways in which patriarchy has leveraged different tools or strategies to restrict dynamic creative energies and collaborations that could threaten its continuity. I am primarily a scholar of nineteenth-century British Literature and Culture, and throughout my career, I have explored critical questions of national, racial, and gendered identity through the lenses of literary, photographic, and filmic representations. I am specifically interested in the cultural work of literary and visual texts: i.e. what these texts do and how they interact with our worlds. I have written extensively on the works of Jane Austen, and I continue to find great value in her stories, especially for the future of the humanities in and out of the university.


I grew up as part of a large family in Spokane, Washington and attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. I completed my graduate degrees at Washington State University in Pullman, WA prior to moving to Greeley, CO to begin my academic career at the University of Northern Colorado. I started teaching at Lehigh in 2010 and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with brilliant students and colleagues. 

During my time as part of Lehigh’s Department of English, I have been involved in the Film and Documentary Studies program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I was the inaugural director of the Film and Documentary Studies program. For three years, I served as the faculty director of the Mellon-funded Humanities Lab project, designed to integrate the humanities across all disciplines on campus. 

My wife and I have raised two sons who have both studied at Lehigh. My favorite methods of relieving stress are to putter in my garden with my dog, Suzie, and visit local record stores.

My forthcoming book, Patriarchy’s Creative Resilience (Routledge, 2024) explores the disturbing sustainability of white male supremacy. I trace an imaginative failure and an imaginative success. My focus on British speculative fiction published between 1870-1900 demonstrates how even this elastic and wildly inventive literary form remains incapable of promoting non-patriarchal masculinity, and I attribute this inability to the creative resiliency of white male supremacy. I delineate the inventive use of diverse resources—a patriarchal toolbox—that we frequently view as custom or uncomplicated history and a versatility that we often dismiss as sheer power. 

I am also the author of Disciplining Love: Austen and the Modern Man (The Ohio State University Press, 2007) and editor of Jane Austen and Masculinity (Bucknell University Press, 2017) and Jane Austen and Critical Theory (Routledge, 2021). I have just completed co-editing the first scholarly edition of William Delisle Hay’s Doom of the Great City (1880) for the Salvaging the Anthropocene Series at West Virginia University Press and am in the process of co-editing a new scholarly edition or Richard Jefferies’s post-apocalyptic narrative, After London; Or, Wild England (1885) for Clemson University Press. I have edited and introduced special editions of Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge on Deleuze and Photography (2012) and Deleuze and Austen (2017). I have published scholarly articles on literary and critical figures such as Austen, Lawrence, Woolf, Foucault, Deleuze, and Dickens, and I have published series of articles on the representations of the Romani in nineteenth-century British literature and culture and visuality in late Victorian New Woman novels. 

One of my new current projects is an interdisciplinary study of the efficacy of documentary storytelling as a mechanism for improving maternal health outcomes in Sierra Leone. This multi-year project, the Mothers of Sierra Leone, brings together faculty and students from diverse disciplines to leverage the powers of filmic storytelling to improve health outcomes for mothers and children in Sierra Leone. We deliberately amplify the voices of women in Sierra Leone and employ qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate our films. Working with our partners in Sierra Leone, we share our films across various clinical and community sites.

Areas of Specialization

Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Critical Theory, Masculinity Studies, Visual Culture, Photography, Film 

Select Recent Publications


After London; or Wild England, by Richard Jefferies (1885), co-editor and introduced with Sarita Jayanta Mizin (Clemson University Press, in production, 2024)

Patriarchy’s Creative Resilience: Late-Victorian Speculative Fiction and the Sustainability of White Male Supremacy (Routledge, 2024)

The Doom of the Great City; Being the Narrative of a Survivor, Written A.D. 1942 (1880), by William Delisle Hay, co-editor and introduced with Sarita Jayanty Mizin. (West Virginia University Press, in production, 2024)

Jane Austen and Critical Theory, editor. (Routledge, 2021)

  • “Introduction: Jane Austen and Critical Theory.” Introduction to Jane Austen and Critical Theory

Jane Austen and Masculinity, editor. (Bucknell University Press, 2017)

  • “Introduction: Austen and Masculinity.” Introduction to Jane Austen and Masculinity

Disciplining Love: Austen and the Modern Man (The Ohio State University Press, 2007)


Journal Collections

Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. Special Issue on Austen and Deleuze. Edited and Introduced. 2017.

  • “The Austen Concept, or Becoming Jane—Again and Again.” 33 (Fall 2017).

Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. Special Issue on Deleuze and Photography. Edited and Introduced. 2012. 

  • “Unburdening Life, or the Deleuzian Potential of Photography.”  Introduction to Special Issue of Rhizomes on Deleuze and Photography.  23 (Spring 2012).


Recent Juried Book Chapters

“Lost in the Comedy: Austen’s Paternalistic Men and the Problem of Accountability.” Jane Austen and Comedy. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2019. 146-64.

“Victorian Visions: Literary Imaginings of Social (In)Justice in the Later Nineteenth Century.” Teaching Victorian Literature in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Palgrave, 2017. 300-15.

“The Artifice of Talbot’s Photograph: From Nature’s Impression to the Sensations of Elan Vital.” Reality Trauma and the Inner Logic of Photography. Ed. Aim Duelle Luski. Tel Aviv: Resling Publishing, 2012:  35-48.

“The Domesticated Conflict and Impending Social Change of Pride and Prejudice.” Critical Insights: Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Laurence W. Mazzeno. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press (2011). 54-69.


Recent Juried Articles

“Richard Jefferies’s After London and the Limits of Liberal Colonialism: Reinscribing Hegemonic Masculinity.” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 62.2 (January 2019): 244-64.

“Seeing Reality, Making Masculinity Visible, and Envisioning Women’s Future: the Proto-Cinematic Vision of Mary Erle.” College Literature 44.3 (2017): 379-403.

“To Think Anew: Arnold, the Literary, and Social Justice” Nineteenth-Century Prose 43.1-2 (2016): 11-28. 

“Domestic Photography and the Minor: Hawarden and the Aesthetics of Morris.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts. 35 (2013) [2014]: 143-66.

“Exposing Visual Discipline: Amy Levy’s Romance of a Shop, the Decay of Paternalistic Masculinity, and the Powers of Female Sight.” Victorians Institute Journal 40 (2012) [2013]: 111-43.


Recent Public Writings

“On ‘Mothers of Sierra Leone’: Improving Maternal Health. Through Storytelling.” Los Angeles Review of Books. May 10, 2023. Co-authored with Fathima Wakeel, Jordyn Pykon, and Nahjiah Miller. <>. 

“On Trump, Masks and Masculinity: What the President’s Bare Face Really Reveals.” Salon. May 23, 2020. <>. 

“The Patriarchy is Getting Mean . . . . And There is a Whiff of Desperation.” Ozy November 14, 2019. <>.

“Netflix’s Stranger Things Offers Different Views of Masculinity.” The Morning Call. July 3, 2019. <>.

“Boys and Men in the Age of Trump: How the President is Affecting our Understanding of Masculinity.” Salon. June 8, 2019. <>.


I teach course in three main areas:

  • nineteenth-century British Literature and Culture
  • critical theory, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality, and
  • film and visual culture. 

I regularly roster courses on various approaches to the works of Jane Austen, and I teach courses for the Film Studies program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I often teach undergraduate and graduate courses informed by various aspects of critical theory, and I have worked with small groups of students on independent filmmaking processes. Some of my recent seminars include: 

  • Imagining Alternatives to Patriarchy
  • Jane Austen Storyteller
  • Victorians and Race
  • Nineteenth-Century Masculinities
  • Public Humanities Storytelling (focused on film, photography, and podcasting). 

At the graduate level, I have directed dissertations on various topics within eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British Literature and served on doctoral committees for projects focused on film, media, the Gothic, and British and American literature.