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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Faculty Profiles: Dr. Nicholas Bromell

Contact Information:
Bartlett Hall
Amherst, MA 0l003
p: 413-545-5517
f: 413-545-3880

Professor and Associate Director of Graduate Studies

Nick Bromell received a B.A. in Classics and Philosophy from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. He was the founding editor of The Boston Review, where he continues to be a contributing editor; he also serves on the editorial board of The Sixties and as an advisory editor to the Class: Culture series published by the University of Michigan Press. He has been President of the New England American Studies Association, and he is the principal convener of Democratic Vistas: An Interdisciplinary Seminar in Political Theory and Cultural Studies. (

Nick Bromell's primary research seeks to reconfigure conventional understanding of U.S. intellectual history by demonstrating that works of literature and popular culture can be expressions of philosophy and political theory. His publications reflect his particular interest in bridging the gap between academic discourse and public debate.

He is the author of By the Sweat of the Brow: Literature and Labor in Antebellum America (University of Chicago Press, 1992), Tomorrow Never Knows: Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and The Time Is Always Now: Black Thought and the Transformation of US Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2013).

His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in American Quarterly, American Literature, American Music, The Boston Review, Harper's, The Boston Globe, The Sewanee Review, The Georgia Review, Fortune, The New York Times, New England Monthly, Political Theory, Raritan, and on-line at Exquisite Corpse and Salon.

Courses Taught: Emerson and Du Bois, Antebellum American Literature, Walt Whitman In His Times, Literature and Democratic Theory.

Areas of Specialization: African, African American, & African Diaspora Studies, American, Atlantic, & Hemispheric Studies, American Literature, Nonfiction Writing, Theory and Cultural Studies