William Gleason (PhD UCLA 1993) specializes in American literature and culture. His research and teaching interests range from the 18th century to the present, with particular emphasis on the late 19th/early 20th century, and include American Studies, African American and multi-ethnic U.S. literatures, material culture, popular culture, children’s literature, architecture, literature and environment, popular romance, and leisure. He is the author of The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840-1940 (Stanford University Press, 1999) and Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature (New York University Press, 2011), which was named one of three runners-up for the 2011 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the Best Book in American Studies by the American Studies Association.
Gleason has also published essays on such writers as Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, T. S. Arthur, Hannah Crafts, Charles Chesnutt, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edith Wharton, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, and Charles Johnson. He is currently working on three new book projects: Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture (with Joni Adamson and David Pellow); Romance Fiction and American Culture (with Eric Murphy Selinger); and The Pocket Instructor: Literature (with Diana Fuss).
He teaches courses on American literary history, popular literature, children’s literature, place and environment, and sport and society. Recent graduate seminars include “The Rise of the Popular, 1790-1900,” “Archives of 19th-Century American Childhood,” “Architecture and 19th-Century American Literature,” and the English Department’s graduate seminar on pedagogy. In 2006, Gleason received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the McGraw Center Graduate Mentoring Award
At Princeton he is affiliated with the Program in American Studies (Executive Committee), the Center for African American Studies (Associate Faculty), the Princeton Environmental Institute (Associated Faculty), the Program in Environmental Studies (Executive Committee), the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning (Faculty Fellow), Rockefellor College (Faculty Fellow), and the Varsity Baseball team (Faculty Fellow). He has been at Princeton since 1993.