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Mary Esteve, PhD

Professor, English

Mary Esteve, PhD


PhD, University of Washington, Comparative Literature

Research interests

19th - 21st century American literature; political, social, and critical theory. Her research focuses on the intersections of narrative fiction, culture, and sociopolitical history.   

Co-editor of the online journal Post45 Peer Reviewed, 2010-2015; 2020-2023.

Appointments and awards

Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University (1998-2000)
SSHRC Recipient (2005-2008)
Visiting Associate Professor, California Institute of Technology (2007-2008)

Selected publications


Incremental Realism: Postwar American Fiction, Happiness, and Welfare-State Liberalism (Stanford University Press, 2021)
The Aesthetics and Politics of the Crowd in American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2003)


"Odds on Erasure: The Status of the Novel on the Receding Horizon of Democracy," American Literary History 35.1 (2023)

"When Psychoanalysis Was in Vogue," in American Literature in Transition 1950-1960, ed Steven Belletto (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

"The Idea of Happiness: Back to the Postwar Future," in Postmodern/Postwar--And After ed. Daniel Worden, Jason Gladstone, and Andrew Hoberek (University of Iowa Press, 2016).

"Robinson's Crusoe: Housekeeping and Economic Form," Contemporary Literature 55 (2014).

“Queer Consumerism, Straight Happiness: Highsmith’s ‘Right Economy,’” Post45 Peer Reviewed (December, 2012).

“Postwar Pastoral: The Art of Happiness in Philip Roth,” in American Literature’s Aesthetic Dimensions, ed. Chris Looby & Cindy Weinstein (Columbia University Press, 2012).

“Shadow Economies: The Distribution of Wealth in and around Pudd’nhead Wilson,” ELH 78 (2011).

“Nature’s Naturalism,” American Literary History 20 (2008).

“Cosmopolis,” in A Concise Companion to American Fiction 1900-1950, ed. Peter Stoneley and Cindy Weinstein (Blackwell 2008).

"Shipwreck and Autonomy: Rawls, Riesman, and Oppen in the 1960s," Yale Journal of Criticism 18 (2005).

"Anerotic Excursions: Memory, Celibacy, and Desire in The American Scene," in Questioning the Master: Examinations of Sexual Ideology in the Writings of Henry James, ed. Peggy McCormack (U of Delaware P, 2000).

"Nella Larsen's 'Moving Mosaic': Harlem, Crowds, and Anonymity," American Literary History 9 (1997).

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