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Mary Esteve, PhD

Professor, English

Mary Esteve, PhD


PhD, University of Washington, Comparative Literature

Research interests

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; urban literature; political, social, and critical theory. She is currently developing two research projects, one on narratives of redistribution in late-19th and early-20th century American literature, the other on the literary and cultural discourse of happiness and normativity in the mid-20th century. 

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

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)


"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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