Mary Kuhn

Mary Kuhn

Assistant Professor, English and Program in Environmental Thought and Practice; Director, Distinguished Majors Program

Bryan Hall 409

Office Hours: W 2-4:30 and by appointment. These will take place over zoom at ( To book an appointment during T/Th office hours:
Class Schedule: M/W 12:35-1:50 and M 2-4:30

19th C American, History of Science, Literature and the Environment

Ph.D. Boston University 2014
M.A. Boston University 2008
B.A. Yale University 2005


Selected Publications:
"Wild only like myself": Thoreau at Home with Plants" in Dispersion: Thoreau and Vegetal Thought. Ed. Branka Arsić. New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.
"Chesnutt, Turpentine, and the Political Ecology of White Supremacy," PMLA. 136.1 (Jan. 2021): 39-54.
“Dickinson and the Politics of Plant Sensibility,” ELH 85.1 (Spring 2018): 41-70.
“Loving the Plant that Saves You,” Common-place. 17.4 (Fall 2017)
“Garden Variety: Botany and Multiplicity in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Abolitionism,” American Literature, 87.3 (September 2015), 489-516.


Selected Awards/Fellowships:
3Cavaliers Grant, University of Virginia, 2021-22
Mead Endowment Honored Faculty, University of Virginia, 2018-2019
First Book Institute, Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State, 2018
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT, 2015-2016
San Andreas Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2014
ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2013-2014


Recent Presentations:
“Indecorous Plants,” C19 Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Biannual Conference, Virtual format, 2020
“Thoreau at Home with Plants,” American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Washington, DC, 2019
“Frederick Douglass’ Agricultural Politics,” American Studies Association (ASA), Atlanta, GE, 2018
"Chesnutt and the Turpentine Pine," C19 Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Biannual Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 2018.
"Structuring the Imagination Under the Banner of Science," History of Science Society (HSS), Toronto, CAN, 2017.
"Intelligent Plants: 19th-Century Botany and 21st-Century Politics," Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), Detroit, MI, 2017.
"Ice Out: Recycling Thoreau's Journals as Climate Change Data Sets," Modernist Studies Association (MSA), Pasadena, CA, 2016.
“Weeping in the Wild,” Call of the Wild Conference (Oxford/MIT), Cambridge MA, June 2016